Works In Progress
WORKS IN PROGRESS WA legislators come up emptyhanded on climate change Strife explains why he settled his lawsuit out of court What’s really happening in Venezuela
Procession of the Species April 26 w 4:30 pm w Olympia
Congratulations on 20 amazing years! Page 3
Legislature goes nowhere with climate change. What must be done to motivate legislators to take action at the state level?
Why the lawsuit against the OPD was settled out of court. The art of long distance running... Page 6
Making waves: Our trip to Hanford, WA. Russ and his wife, Stephanie, visit the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
Two years later we are still Troy Davis. The ACLU interviews Troy’s sister, Kimberly Davis, and attorney Jen Marlowe.
Class struggle and the Venezuelan Revolution: Toilet paper and its discontents
Operation Uphold Democracy (part 2) Water, water, everywhere...
Ukraine: The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. Zoltan Grossman on the complexities not mentioned in the US media.
Rioting in the streets: What's happening in Venezuela. Excerpts from a talk at an Evergreen forum on Venezuela and the Ukraine.
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WORKERS IN PROGRESS Editing: Bethany Weidner, Russ Frizzell, Scott Yoos, and Sylvia Smith Layout: Sylvia Smith Proofreading: Emily Lardner, Enrique Quintero, Russ Frizzell, Scott Yoos, Stephanie Frizzell, and Sylvia Smith Writers’ Group: April Adams, Dan Leahy, Desdra Dawning, Emily Lardner, Enrique Quintero, Erin Palmer, Fred Bridges, Jordan Beaudry, Russell Frizzell, Sylvia Smith, and T. Belle Graphics: Vince Ryland, April Adams Mailings: Jeff Sowers Finances: Pat Tassoni Website: Emily Lardner Distribution: April Adams, Creighton Rose, T. Magster, Marylea Coday, Sandia Slaby,and Scott Yoos, and with room for more!
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On the front cover — ”The Procession” Graphic Artist: Vince Ryland
Works In Progress
The Plaintiffs represented by ACLUWA and CLS were placed in solitary confinement after corrections officers entered their living area and invited approximately 20 detainees to meet protected by the Bill of Rights,” said with an assistant warden to discuss their Motion seeks to prohibit ICE from ACLU-WA Legal Director Sarah Dunne. reasons for engaging in a hunger strike. retaliating against detainees for Several hundred detainees at the The Plaintiffs and other detainees peaceful protest Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in who volunteered to attend the meeting TACOMA - April 4 - The ACLU of Tacoma, Washington initiated a hunger were immediately placed in handcuffs Washington (ACLU-WA) and Columbia strike on March 7, 2014 to express and taken to individual isolation cells. Legal Services (CLS) are seeking a concerns with national immigration Plaintiffs were not told why they were Temp or a r y Rest r a i n i ng placed in solitary confinement Order (TRO) to prohibit U.S. nor how long they would have Immigration and Enforcement “Retaliating against and punishing to live in isolation. (ICE) from retaliating against The for m of sol it a r y detainees who engage in immigrant detainees engaged in confinement used by ICE, First Amendment-protected peaceful protests is an unlawful attempt administrative segregation, activities by placing them does not require due process in solitary confinement. A to chill free speech rights. Like all civil because it is supposed to be hearing on the motion for a non-punitive. However, it TRO will be held on Friday, detainees, they have free speech rights appears that ICE’s placement of April 4 at 9:30 am before U.S. protected by the Bill of Rights.” Plaintiffs and other detainees District Court Judge Robert in administrative segregation Bryan in Tacoma. is i n fac t pu n ish ment “Like other forms of peaceful protest, policy and to raise awareness about and retaliation for engaging in participation in a hunger strike is a the conditions of their confinement. constitutionally protected free speech protected First Amendment activity, On March 24 some detainees initiated activities. and detainees should not be punished a new hunger strike. Beginning on Handling the case are ACLU-WA for it,” said Melissa Lee, Attorney and March 27, ICE began placing individuals staff attorneys Sarah Dunne, La Rond Institutions Project Coordinator with in solitary confinement in retaliation Baker and Margaret Chen; Columbia CLS. for their support of the hunger strikes. Legal Services staff attorneys Melissa “Retaliating against and punishing These individuals have been put in Lee, Nick Straley, and Andrea Schmitt; immigrant detainees engaged in solitary confinement where they are and ACLU-WA cooperating attorney Sal peaceful protests is an unlawful attempt kept in cells for 23 hours a day and are Mungia of the firm Gordon Thomas to chill free speech rights. Like all civil deprived of meaningful interactions Honeywell, LLP. detainees, they have free speech rights with others. —American Civil Liberties Union
Lawsuit challenges retaliation against hunger strikers at NW Detention Center
Rachel Corrie Foundation
activities, while leaving Israeli Jewish settlers and soldiers, who often engage in brutal actions, free from any legal accountability. At the heart of Israel’s mass incarceration of Palestinians is the relentless dispossession of Palestinian land for continued Israeli settlement. As Professor Laleh Khalili of the University of London notes, in Israel/Palestine mass incarceration of Palestinians by Israeli military occupation authorities “has become an inseparable part of the Israeli system of control, discipline, and violence” against Palestinians and central to Israeli colonization of their land. While there are a number of obvious linkages between American and Israeli systems of mass incarceration, not to mention the massive support the United States gives to Israel to maintain its military occupation, it is the use of mass incarceration as a system to preserve racial privilege and hierarchy that is its most striking element. On April 19, the Rachel Corrie Foundation (RCF), in partnership with local and national co-sponsors, will present Yet Again As Captives: Mass Incarceration in the U.S. & Palestine. The rise of this racialized system of This day-long conference, held at The social control in the United States finds Evergreen State College, will feature Andrew Meyer a striking parallel in the rise of a system workshops and plenaries that seek to Rachel Corrie Foundation -- Since of mass incarceration of Palestinian identify the intersection between the the start of the “War on Drugs” in the civilians by Israeli military occupation two systems of mass incarceration, early 1970s, the number of Americans forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and will also provide opportunities for incarcerated in the attendees to develop United States has skills and connect jumped from 350,000 Yet Again As Captives: with organizations to over 2 million. that work to dismantle Today, the United them. The event States has the highest culminates with a April 19th, 2014 rate of incarceration in keynote presentation the world, surpassing The Evergreen State College 9:00 - 4:30 pm at the Washington regimes like Russia, C enter for t he Keynote Event 7:00 pm China and Iran. Per for m i ng A r t s, Yet it is the racial A conversation featuring Angela Davis and Noura Erakat feat ur ing worlddimension of mass Washington Center for the Performing Arts renowned scholar and incarceration that activist Angela Davis is its most striking in conversation with feature. No other country in the world and Gaza Strip. Since Israel occupied human rights attorney and activist imprisons so many of its racial or the remaining lands of Palestine Noura Erakat. ethnic minorities. The U.S. imprisons by military force in 1967, more than Conference registration with a larger percentage of its black 726,000 Palestinian men, women and keynote ticket is available through population than South Africa did at the children have been detained by Israel, RCF at rachelcorriefoundation. height of Apartheid. More than 60% of representing 20 percent of the total org. Individual keynote tickets are the people in prison today are people population and 40 percent of all males available throught the Washington of color. As Michelle Alexander has in the occupied territories. Center for the Performing Arts documented in her recent book, The Much like in the United States, the at washingtoncenter.org or at the New Jim Crow, mass incarceration in Palestinian Arab population of the West Washington Center box office. the United States is a “comprehensive Bank and Gaza is subject to constant and well-disguised system of racialized policing, harassment and racially For more information, please write social control that functions in a discriminatory laws that criminalize to email@example.com or manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.” Palestinian lives and resistance call (360) 754-3998.
April day-long conference to feature Angela Davis
Mass Incarceration in the US and Palestine
WORKS IN PROGRESS Volume 24, No. 12
Serving the Olympia community and the cause of social justice since 1990.
Legislature goes nowhere with climate change What must be done to motivate legislators to take action at the state level? Emily Lardner Maybe next year…
The county council is predominantly addition to flooding, we can expect to see Democratic, too. beach erosion, and saltwater intrusion States other than Washington into wetlands and groundwater. Homes, are acting. Hawaii, for instance. In critical infrastructure such as roads January 2014, Democrats, who control and bridges, and other facilities will the Hawaiian House and the Senate, be threatened in increasing numbers.” introduced a joint package bill that Besides preparing for these events, Pap included the creation of an interagency suggests that readers become involves advisor y board to help the state in Hawaii’s smart growth initiatives to reduce automobile use.
on the county—80% of surveyed streams and rivers in King County exceeded the state temperature standard to protect salmon habitat; snowpack in the Cascade Range has decreased by 25% since the 1950’s; all major rivers in King County Shifting public perception, have shown higher flow and driving political change The Olympian reports gas-powered increased flood risk during Given the scope of climate fall and significantly lower flow leaf blowers will be banned from the change and the need for in summer; Puget Sound has risen over 8 inches in the last Capitol Campus. That’s sensible, but we systemic action, how can we our governments to century and local waters are need more from our state government. compel act? If we wait until the sea becoming more acidic. “We can no longer wait,” Climate change threatens everything level rises enough to wet the feet of major decision makers, Constantine said. The related it will be too late. Somehow, policy brief, “Confronting and everyone. Action is required. a case has to be made that Climate Change,” lists what current evidence and current K ing Count y is doing— greening commutes, promoting smart prepare for climate change. Talking understanding of what the evidence growth, saving energy and reducing about climate change is normal. In the means for the future is enough to act climate pollution, collaborating March 2014 edition of For Kaua’i, a free upon. It has to become normal to talk with others and building resilient newsmagazine, Ruby Pap, a Coastal about climate change and what we can communities. How can Constantine be Land Use Extension Agent from the do with and about it. In February 2014, political activist Jim so outspoken, so clear in his leadership? University of Hawai’i, focused her He won the last election handily, 78% science column on the consequences Hightower addressed the Progressive to 21% for his Republican contender. of climate change for Hawaiians: “in 4GOING NOWHERE, continued on page 12.
It’s hard not to feel discouraged. In December 2013, Washington State’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup (CLEW), created by the 2013 Washington State Legislature to develop “a state program of actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” presented their opposing sets of recommendations—and now that the session has ended, we can only hope that they will continue their agreement to keep talking. Maybe next session something will happen. Meanwhile, The Olympian reports that gas-powered leaf blowers will be banned from the Capitol Campus because they are noisy and because of their emissions. That’s sensible—no one likes to be around leaf-blowers, and it’s never clear where the leaves that get blown go anyway—but we need more from our state government. Climate change threatens everything and everyone. Action is required. The tough question is—action by whom? Fortunately, the Congressional Progressive Caucus just released its new budget, the Better Off Budget. Reading the Progressive Caucus budget proposal is like reading a primer on what ings that cut the legs out from under effective government can do. Two of the my case. Judge Settle refused to allow environmental policy aims represented mention of Officer Sean Lindros’ history in the Progressive Caucus budget are We had witnesses lined up to testify of deceit and excessive force, includputting a price on carbon pollution by that I was in no physical location to have ing an incident where he used a deadly Paul French (aka Strife) instituting a carbon tax and repealing struck anyone. We had enhanced frame- sleeper hold on a man after punching subsidies for fossil fuel companies. “Awareness is two steps ahead. Para- by-frame video evidence that proved that and tasing him repeatedly, in addition Both ideas were discussed in the Washington State legislature. The noia is two steps behind.” —Kim Marks, Officer Sean Lindros was not where he to a wrongful arrest suit settled in 2012. expert’s report delivered to the CLEW forest activist; Beyond Bullets: The Sup- claimed to be when he was supposedly Conversely, the judge empowered the defense to bring up irrelevant workgroup last October examined both pression of Dissent in the United aspects of my past and polia carbon tax and a cap and trade option. States by Jules Boykoff (2007) tics to try to defame my charIn 2011, after years of activThe carbon tax option made more Judge Settle refused to allow mention acter and avoid dealing with ism led to a fabricated assault sense and resulted in a bigger impact the facts of the case. charge at a police brutality proin terms of reducing green house gases, of Officer Sean Lindros’ history of As a student organizer durparticularly since the transportation test and relentless harassment, ing the Port Protests of 2006I filed a federal civil suit for deceit and excessive force, including an sector is the largest GHG polluter in 2007, I saw first-hand the false arrest against the OlymWA state. That idea went nowhere this incident where he used a deadly sleeper animosity that those in power pia Police Department. I wantsession. Nor did a bill re-introduced from last year’s session (HB 2038) to close the ed to set the record straight hold on a man after punching and held for people who dared to oppose the machinery of war “big oil loophole” our state’s own fossil and expose a pattern of abuse tasing him repeatedly. and aggression. My friends that not only hindered my effuel company subsidy program. and I put our lives on the line forts, but which has haunted Better government responses to block military stryker vethe Olympia community for elsewhere over a decade. Days before the trial, Lar- struck. I even had the black bandana I hicles in the streets of Olympia to send ry Hildes, my attorney who works with was wearing during the protest that Lin- a message that we refuse to allow OlymSome counties have made significant progress. Take King County. In his State the National Lawyer’s Guild told me the dros claimed was blue. Unfortunately, pia’s public port to be used as a revolving of the County Address in February 2014, City of Olympia agreed to settle my suit despite the overwhelming evidence of door for war crimes committed in our King County Executive Dow Constantine out of court. After careful deliberation I my innocence, I was assigned a reac- name. In return, we got a street educa4LAWSUIT, continued on page 11. reviewed the effects of climate change decided to accept the offer. Here is why. tionary judge who issued pre-trial rul-
Why the lawsuit against the OPD was settled out of court
The art of long distance running
Works In Progress
Without Limits! (GWOL!) is a spring and summer break and monthly Saturday camp program for girls ages 10 to 14. GWOL! focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.), as well as leadership, self-esteem, career Sustaining Sponsor. Tickets are on sale awareness, and art. Finally, Girls For A and can be purchased by contacting Change, the agency’s newest program, the YWCA of Olympia at (360) 352- is a free afterschool program that invites 0593 or online at www.ywcaofolympia. young women to design, lead, fund and implement socia l org, under the Events change projects that page. Tickets are $35 tackle issues girls face and tables of eight Spring Into Action like bullying, animal are available for $280. Benefit Luncheon neglect, confidence Event organizers expect & self-esteem, and the event to sell out. environmental This year’s featured Thursday, April 24th degradation. Girls For speaker is Thurston 11:30 am to 1 pm A Change empowers County Commissioner girls to develop the Karen Valenzuela. voice, abilit y and Karen has been a Indian Summer Golf problem solv ing Thu r st on Cou nt y & Country Club capacity to speak up, be Commissioner since decision makers, and January 2009. Prior to that, she served as a Tumwater create visionary change. For more information about Spring City Councilmember for nine years. Her Commission work focuses on Into Action, contact Cherie Reeves preservation of agricultural lands and Sperr, Director of Special Events & environmentally sensitive areas, climate Communications at (360) 352-0593 or change and sustainability, and working firstname.lastname@example.org to end homelessness. Commissioner —YWCA of Olympia Valenzuela was also a public health worker for twenty years. She has two daughters—one a clinical psychologist and the other an attorney—and three grandchildren ages 6 to 21. She is a former teacher-trainer with the University YWCA in Seattle. Karen’s motto is “lead where you land” and we look forward to her presentation! As the premier girls empowerment agency serving South Puget Sound, the YWCA of Olympia is proud to present Spring Into Action in support of their three gender-responsive programs for middle school girls. Girls Circle is a free afterschool program that meets weekly at schools in Thurston County. A trained facilitator leads topics at each First Thursday, 5:3 0 pm school that focus on finding female role Traditions Cafe models, self-care, positive body image, self-esteem building, reducing stress and email@example.com cultivating productive relationships. Girls
New law saddles Kentuckians with big electricity bill, aims to block benefits of fighting climate change
Karen Valenzuela joins girl program participants to speak at YWCA luncheon
April 3 - A new Kentucky law approved late yesterday will raise Kentuckians’ electricity bills. This bill mirrors efforts that big polluters and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have unsuccessfully pushed in other states to undermine upcoming federal standards reducing carbon pollution from dirty power plants—the key driver of climate change. David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued this statement: “This misguided measure will saddle Kentuckians with higher electricity bills while padding the profits of the state's biggest polluters. It will also make it harder for the state to increase energy efficiency and switch to cleaner, lower cost energy. “Coal companies and their political backers want to lock Kentucky into the most expensive way of curbing power plants’ dangerous carbon pollution. Their ultimate agenda is to block every effort to cut the pollution driving the worst impacts of climate change. “Luckily for consumers elsewhere, ALEC and big polluters haven’t been successful: Lawmakers in Virginia and Florida blocked the polluters’ bills. And cooler heads prevailed in Kansas and even in coal-dominated West Virginia, where legislatures instead passed bills that allow state officials to write carbon reduction plans that will meet the nation’s clean air laws.”
The YWCA of Olympia will hold its annual Spring Into Action Benefit Luncheon, presented by Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel, next month to celebrate its programs for girls (Girls Without Limits!, Girls For A Change, and Girls Circle). Participants from each program will be in attendance at and will be an active part of the luncheon activities. Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel will once again serve as a Presenting Sponsor and new this year is Olympia Federal as the
—Natural Resources Defense Council
Federal court rejects industry lawsuit to stop landmark endangered species agreement April 1 - A federal district court Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the historic 2011 settlement agreement between the Center for Biological Diversity and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requiring the agency to decide whether to protect 757 imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act. All 757 species had been languishing in bureaucratic limbo without a decision on their fate—many of them for more than two decades. The agreement requires that all receive decisions between 2011 and 2018. So far 138 species have been protected or formally proposed for protection. The National Association of Home Builders and other industry groups filed suit to overturn the agreement, arguing that they would be harmed if the Fish and Wildlife Service completed its legally required scientific review of the species’ status. Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan concluded that fear of the results of a required decisionmaking process is not a legal basis to stop the process. “The Endangered Species Act provides ample opportunity for the Home Builders and any other citizen, state or group to participate, comment and even challenge the result of protection decisions,” said Noah Greenwald, director of the Center’s Endangered Species program. “What they can’t do is trample democracy by insisting that the government make no decision at all.” The ruling comes just days after the state of Oklahoma and an oil and gas industry lobby group filed a similar lawsuit. “The state of Oklahoma should withdraw its hopeless, copycat lawsuit and stop wasting taxpayer money on frivolous grandstanding,” said Greenwald. “The people of Oklahoma deserve leadership and respect for law from their politicians, not expensive, futile gestures to stop legally required scientific reviews.” —Center for Biological Diversity
Playback Theatre Performance
Stories of Boundaries & Consent in collaboration with PIPE (Partners in Prevention Education) Friday, April 11, 7:30 pm Traditions in Olympia Each month we invite a guest artist(s), community organization, arts program or social service agency to be a part of our performance. This month we are collaborating with PIPE (Partners in Prevention Education). The mission of Partners in Prevention Education is to engage homeless and at-risk youth and adult allies in the elimination of sexual violence, bias and hate crimes as they contribute to homelessness and as they exists in street culture. We achieve this though social change work, violence prevention education, and survivor support services including advocacy, therapy and support groups. Background of Playback Theatre: Playback Theatre is a spontaneous collaboration between performers and audience. People tell moments from their lives, then watch them re-created with movement, music and dialogue.
Become a citizen journalist.
I am Troy Davis
authors Jen Marlowe and Martina DavisCorreia The Evergreen State College Wed April 9, 3:00-4:30pm Recital Hall, COM Bldg Orca Books Wed April 9, 7:00-8:30pm 509 E. 4th Ave. Olympia On September 21, 2011 Troy Anthony Davis was put to death by the State of Georgia. Davis’ execution was protested by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, and Pope Benedict XVI, President Jimmy Carter, and 51 members of Congress all appealed for clemency. How did one man capture the world’s imagination, and become the iconic face for the campaign to end the death penalty?
Related article on page 5.
I Am Troy Davis, coauthored by Jen Marlowe and Davis’ sister Martina Davis-Correia, tells the intimate story of an ordinary man caught up in an inexorable tragedy. From his childhood in racially-charged Savannah; to the confused events that led to the 1989 shooting of a police officer; to Davis’ sudden arrest, conviction, and two-decade fight to prove his innocence; I Am Troy Davis takes us inside a broken legal system where life and death hang in the balance.
Works In Progress
Perennial plant sale to benefit our sister community in Santo Tomás, Nicaragua Saturday, May 3 w 9 am to 3 pm w 117 Thomas St NW TSTSCA -- Large, healthy starts of fifty varieties of perennial plants will be on sale at very modest prices to benefit the Thurston-Santo Tomás Sister County Association (TSTSCA) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday May 3 at 117 Thomas St NW (between Harrison and 4th) in West Olympia. TSTSCA is a genuine grassroots effort founded in 1988 in Olympia, Washing ton, and Santo Tomás, Chontales, Nicarag ua. TSTSCA supports a number of projects there, including a children’s free lunch program, a small library with support for homework, and college scholarships. TSTSCA also organizes delegations from Olympia to Santo Tomás and from there to here. The group works actively year round and needs a constant f low of f ina ncia l support to keep it all running. Now you can simultaneously help TSTSCA while you make your own yard look better for years to come! Visit TSTSCA’s b enef it p eren n i a l plant sale at a convenient West Olympia location, 117 Thomas Street
NW (just south of W Harrison, west of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church’s parking lot) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday May 3. TSTSCA volunteer George Hartwell raises an amazing variety of perennial plants and is donating many in decent-
sized pots (along with starts of a few shrubs) so you can take them home and plant them with confidence. Many more than 100 plants of about fifty varieties will be available for sale, including a few exotic ones. If you want to ask about a particular species of perennial plant, call George Hartwell at 459-1079. For information about the plant sale or about TSTSCA, contact Jean Eberhardt at (360) 943-8642 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about TSTSCA is at www.oly-wa.us/tstsca.
Time to apply for Queer Rock Camp! Queer Rock Camp is now accepting camper and volunteer applications for this summer's camp! Founded in 2011 by a small organizing collective in Olympia, Queer Rock Camp now annually serves approximately 50 youth ages 12 - 21 during a week long intensive music day camp held in the summer. Through instrument instruction, band practice, and workshops Q.R.C. empowers youth and builds community through music. QRC is open to campers and volunteers who identify as queer, gender-variant, gender non-conforming, and allies. Camp tuition runs on a sliding scale and no one is turned away for lack of funds. This summer's camp runs Monday July 7th - Friday July 11th, with the culminating showcase of camper bands taking place at the Capitol Theater on the evening on Saturday, July 12th. Learn more about Queer Rock Camp and apply online at our website: www. queerrockcamp.org.
Special Events Stories of Healing and Transformations—Rwanda 20 years after the Genocide
Monday, April 7, 7-8 pm Traditions Cafe 300 5th Ave. SW, Olympia
A community lecture by Dr. Christian Ntizimira, a palliative care physician and educator from Kigali, Rwanda. Sponsors: Hospice Without Borders and Amahoro House.
Robert H. King Speaks on solitary confinement & the Angola 3
Tuesday, April 8, 5 - 7 pm Lecture Hall 1 The Evergreen State College
Robert H. King is a freed member of the Angola 3. Along with his comrades Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace (who recently passed away), they were targeted for their activism as members of the Black Panther Party inside Angola prison in the 1970s. After 31 years in Angola prison in Louisiana, 29 spent years in solitary confinement, Robert King was released on February 2001 after proving his innocence. Since his release, Robert H. King has spoken across the country demanding the release of Albert Woodfox along with the end of solitary confinement. King will speak about his own experience in Angola Prison as a Black Panther, the case of the Angola 3, and will explain how the prison system refuses to free Albert Woodfox even after his conviction has been overturned three times! Sponsor: Abolish Cops and Prisons
“Policing and Counter-Insurgency” with Kristian Williams Thursday, April 10, 5 - 7 pm Lecture Hall 2 Evergreen State College Longhouse
Kristian Williams (author, Our Enemies in Blue; contributing editor, Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency) will briefly outline the principles of counterinsurgency warfare and illustrate how they have both shaped and been shaped by police operations in the United States. Public discussion to follow.
Evergreen Summer Offering – Second Session The Tar Sands of Alberta’s oil fields and the gasoline-like crude from North Dakota’s Bakken region are headed this way in 100 car unit trains called “virtual pipelines.” Plans call for expanded rail receiving facilities at all five refineries in Washington state, as well as new oil train-to-marine transfer terminals at the Ports of Vancouver and Grays Harbor. These plans are the subject of major controversy in this state. Recent derailments and disastrous explosions have caught the public eye and mobilized labor and environmental communities. We will look at what this new oil is; how it’s changing the dynamics of US oil dependency as well as the nature of rail transportation in the Northwest. We’ll visit ports and refineries, read primary documents, chart train traffic, talk to proponents, opponents and regulators, and develop our own analysis of what should be done. Evergreen registration begins May 19th. 8 credits. Second Session. July 28 to August 29, 2014 M,W,F 10 am – 4 pm For more information, contact Dan Leahy, (360) 402-0441 Danleahy43@yahoo.com
Sponsor: Abolish Cops and Prisons
Capitalism and Racism: Implications for an anti-racist agenda
Wednesday, April 16, 7 - 9 pm Room 200, Olympia Community Center, 222 Columbia St, NW, Olympia Final part of the January 8th workshop— ”The ABCs of Capitalism”—in a series promoting economic literacy and inviting dialogue and discussion on inequality and the on-going crises of capitalism. No economic background required! Facilitated by Savvina Chowdhury & Peter Bohmer (members of the economic faculty at The Evergreen State College)
Tai Hicks Debut Exhibition
Friday, April 25, 11 am Inklife Tattoos Body Piercing & Art Gallery 307 4th Ave East, Olympia
Come and see the amazing Apis Cosmonautis on it’s journey through the cosmos in my very first exhibition for Olympia’s Spring Arts Walk. I will be showing this series as well as some older work at Inklife Tattoos Body Piercing & Art Gallery, est. 1971 beginning on Friday April 25th. Bee lovers, star gazers, art enthusiasts allcome check it out and support your local businesses and artists!
African Music Fest Music Instrument Drive Saturday, April 26, 6 pm Breathe Olympia 601 Capitol Way S, Olympia
The Mazigazi Band and guests will be performing for One Vibe Africa’s Musical Instrument Drive. This will be an African music fest where donations of used musical instruments, accessories, and strings are encouraged to benefit a Youth Arts Mentorship program in Kenya. This is an Olympia Arts Walk event where all are welcome to come and enjoy dancing and story telling. See you there!
Works In Progress
Making waves: Our trip to Hanford, WA outward from here at the blazing speed of light. However, LIGO won't measure waves from mild processes such as planetary orbits; only high mass, high acceleration events like black hole mergers. Only high frequency waves will register on LIGO machines. High frequency waves are so delicate and subtle that no experiment has yet to measure them. We can infer the effect a gravitational wave will cause because of the tides on Earth, which is so familiar to us here in Olympia. The tide results from the Earth spinning under the alternating pull of gravity from the Moon and Sun. But other stars and planets are so far away that we would need a very sensitive detector. A great collaboration
Astronomers are confident that neutron stars and perhaps black holes in close orbit create strong gravitational waves. In addition, supernova explosions, That's right, friends, like all of our thought to emit a pulse may actually troubles, gravity comes in waves. For produce some type of gravitational us earthlings they are so subtle that we wave. The Nobel Prize don't feel them and so on Earth gravity in physics in 1993 was seems comfortably stable. Far out in awarded to Russell space though, black holes and neutron Hulse and Joe Tyler stars spiraling out of control produce for finding a pair of waves in the gravitational field which neutron stars, one astrophysicists believe we will soon be of which is a pulsar, able to detect. In the fantastic realms in close orbit which of the universe, orbiting bodies and are spiraling inward cataclysmic supernovae are causing the toward eventual rubbery fabric of space-time to quivering. collision. Using Albert My wife, Stephanie, and I traveled to Einstein's equations the LIGO Hanford Observatory on the of Relat iv it y, Hanford Nuclear Reservation for scientists have the February 28 public drop-in calculated the tour and March 1 Family Science Day. These events to promote One of the world’s great scientific energy of these and they science education remind us experiments is right here in waves expect that that the scientists are reaching out in the spirit of learning. Our Washing ton state. The Laser LIGO is close to sensing them. Plowshare friends hope to change Dale Ingram nuclear weapons for peaceful use Interferometer Gravitational-Wave of resources. Notice! This is what Observatory is an instrument for was our tour g uide of this has begun to happen at Hanford! One of the world’s great sensing the presence of matter in the w o n d e r f u l facilit y a nd scientific experiments is right he is a great here in Washington state. LIGO distant reaches of the cosmos.” spokesperson for stands for Laser Interferometer the project. With Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Their website says, “[LIGO] is an among scientists have built the device a small group (six other instrument for sensing the presence called LIGO at the Hanford site, and a visitors) we were shown of matter, whether shining or dark, in twin facility at Livingston, Louisiana, around the entire the distant reaches of the cosmos.” The which is on the brink of making this place. Because LIGO project, funded by the National Science long sought measurement. If you have is nearing the end of a Foundation , is jointly operated by the surplus computing power you may tremendous upgrade, California Institute of Technology and even participate in this adventure with some components left Massachusetts Institute of Technology. the Einstein@home project where from the initial science Gravity is so familiar that we rarely volunteers help analyze the collected r un are displayed around the visitor think about it. "Down" means toward data. There are a few other detectors and center for guests to the center of the Earth, "up" is directly away from the center. The Moon and teams around the world that form a (sort study. Mag nificent other satellites orbit Earth in the same of) network. The European Space Agency isolation tables steady way that Earth orbits the Sun. When I is making a gravitational wave detector the apparatus from throw a baseball up, guess what it will for outer space that will cover lower earthly vibration and end up doing? As the Earth makes its frequency wave events and is expected some extraordinar y way around the orbit, the gravity field to be more sensitive and certain to get mirrors are there to see. We toured the clean room where instruments are changes with the Earth's changing that measurement. The best sources of gravitational being prepared at a fantastic degree of position. Scientists speculate that the changing gravity field sends waves waves are massive objects in rapid orbits. cleanliness. And we spent time in the brilliant control headquarters (like being aboard the bridge of the Starship Enterprise) where myriad of scientists were busy at testing the upgrade status. Even the lunch room was full of science demos and the air of professionalism of the whole place was the best I've ever seen—the Washington LIGO is a hub of astronomy at its finest. At my request a veteran LIGO scientist made time for an interview and he enthusiastically described the project to Stephanie and me. Micheal R. Landry, Ph.D., explained the project from a knowledgeable perspective. Though the science of gravitational wave astronomy is well explained on the LIGO website, to meet a lead scientist who has dedicated his career to making sense of the world was a great honor (he even helped edit this copy and drew on his chalk board for us!) I paraphrase some of his answers here: What is the economic value of this experiment? “The manufacture of the finest quality instruments in the world creates work for an engineering industry that is a worldwide collaboration. The Hanford site—once a production area for nuclear weapons--now serves as one of the production areas for LIGO's quest for new knowledge. This work is primarily driven by curiosity and physics so we may understand the universe better. This additional window into the cosmos makes for better astronomy.” Isn't University of Washington involved? “There is an excellent gravity group at University of Washington which is working on its own short range gravity measurement experiment. That device is testing the universal constant of
April 2014 gravity to refine its known value and for modifications to Newtonian gravity. Their work compliments ours but is a separate operation.” Has India recently joined the LIGO group? “Here at Washington LIGO we are building an additional set of devices for the nation of India which is planning to set up the detector and join the network. Having another detector at a distant location will help triangulate the signals so we can better pinpoint wave sources in the sky. The distance also helps us separate seismic and other local noise sources from actual gravitational waves.” How certain are we of detecting waves soon? “Our upg rade is nearing completion; the new device, called Advanced LIGO is ten times more sensitive and as we continue to refine the device our detection power continues to improve. Depending on the mass and distance to some in-spiraling neutron stars the theory predicts wave streng t h close to our ability. As they are about to collide the signal strength increases to a chirp. When we will detect t he s e ch i r p s w e can inform optical astronomers where to look in the sky to obser ve exciting events. Later this year we expect to begin test operations of the Advanced LIGO. These ex per iment s a re valuable tests of our understanding of nature according to General Relativity.” Thank you, Mike and Dale and all the staff at the LIGO Hanford, for the hospitality and time. Saturday, March 1, we returned to attend the special event, Family Science Day. Some twenty volunteers gave demonstrations around the facility of the scientific principles being tested. I was excited to see many of these volunteers were local high school students. The crowds of visitors (two to four hundred guests) were local families with children of all ages enjoying the hands-on exhibits and interaction with science enthusiasts. It was a festive learning experience of the highest order. The sincere researchers at LIGO are trying to make a difference in the lives of people. The specter of nuclear history and background radiation did not deter these brave people. The LIGO Hanford holds accessible, free public tours one Friday and one Saturday each month, several special public events throughout the year, and additional group tours available by appointment. The scenic drive from Olympia is around 250 miles and the considerate professionalism of the staff made this tour a memorable learning experience. We wish the scientists the best of luck in their upcoming science run. Lee Smolin in his latest book Time Reborn claims “Unprecedented measurements [may] not be governed by any prior law.” The folks at LIGO have done their homework, I'd bet they are on the brink of finding out. And, extra special thanks to Works in Progress for supporting science learning and citizen journalism in our community. Russ Frizzell is an activist living in Olympia since 2010 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College where he studied Physics and Cosmology.
Works In Progress
Two years later...
We are still Troy Davis
determines whether the death sentence is sought. Race, geography, and poverty are much more indicative factors, and that’s really troubling in the country that is supposed to stand by the central edict ‘equal justice under the law.’ The death penalty seems to be the sharp edge of a much larger, broken system, and it certainly does not provide equal justice.
The ACLU of Southern California re- ACLU: How does the death penalty affect cently interviewed Kimberly Davis and minorities and people of color? ACLU of Southern California Jen Marlowe for its blog, about Troy’s JM: The death penalty dispropor-tion- ACLU: So in terms of concrete policy, An interview with Kimberly Davis and case, how it helped galvanize the move- ately affects minorities and people of what are we building up to? ment to abolish the death penalty, and color. Every study that’s been done in Jen Marlowe JM: I think we’re building up to a repeal what work lies ahead. every state has affirmed that. It has to of the death penalty in the United States. In 2011, the ACLU stood in solidarity with millions of people across the coun- ACLU: Where are we two years after try in demanding clemency for Troy Da- Troy’s execution? vis. But despite our appeal, on Septem- Jen Marlowe: Troy’s case really sparked ber 21, 2011, Troy was executed. an awareness about why the death penTwo years later, our collective efforts alty is so problematic in this country, to challenge the death penalty in the and I think in the two years since there’s name of Troy Davis and others like him been a lot of really concrete steps that have been anything but futile. Since have happened that have moved our Troy’s execution, nine states have taken country progressively away from use of steps to repeal the death penalty— the death penand certainly, I can’t alty, including say that that’s only two in the Pacific The nature of the crime because of Troy, it’s Northwest. Here obviously not, but I in Washington is rarely what determines absolutely think it State, Gov. Jay In- whether the death was one of the galvaslee announced nizing events in the on February 11 sentence is sought. Race, abolition movement. that he was imwas one of the geography, and poverty That posing a morathings he called on torium on execu- are much more indicative his supporters to do tions as long as in his final words—he he was governor factors. asked us to continue of the state of to fight this fight, and Washington. I think that he would “Equal justice under the law is the find that we have, and that we’ve been state’s primary responsibility,” Inslee very successful in it. said during his press conference. “And Kimberly Davis: I feel really good know- Jen Marlowe and Kimberly Davis after an I Am Troy Davis book reading at Busboys and Poets in death penalty cases, I’m not coning that my brother’s case is continuing in Washington, DC. Photo credit: vinced equal justice is being served.” to change the world today. Troy told the do with both the race of the perpetrator It’s been happening step-by-step and On Wednesday, April 9 the ACLU of family if the State of Georgia did suc- and the victim, as people of color are state-by-state—momentum is growing Washington will co-sponsor “I Am Troy ceed in executing him they would only far more likely to be prosecuted with a and I think we’ll reach a tipping point, Davis: The Human Face of the Death take his physical body because he gave capital charge than people not of color. where as we continue to move, there will Penalty, ” two events hosted by The Evhis soul to God along time ago. The race of the victim particularly im- be a point where the rest of the country ergreen State College (TESC) at 3pm ACLU: How have people responded to pacts whether a death penalty is sought will follow—whether that will ultimateand at Orca Books at 7pm. for an offender. If the victim is white, it ly come from the U.S. Supreme Court or The events, which are also co-spon- your brother’s story? is far more likely than if the victim was another way, we’re trending very clearly sored by Fellowship of Reconciliation- KD: My brother’s story has opened the Olympia, the Washington Coalition to eyes of many people across the world non-white. These are some really trou- in that direction. In terms of repeal on Abolish the Death Penalty (as well as and has brought people of all origins bling indicators in this day and age of different state levels, I live in Seattle—of multiple academic programs and stu- together to work for one cause: to end whose lives are considered more valu- course, the governor of Washington just dent organizations at TESC, and the the death penalty. It doesn’t matter the able and whose lives are more dispens- did the moratorium—and then also if President’s Diversity Fund) will feature color of someone’s skin—we all came able. Race and the death penalty have you just look at trends about the death a discussion with Troy’s younger sister, together to stand for one cause and con- very troubling overlays, as do econom- penalty: prosecutors are seeking the Kimberly Davis, as well as Jen Marlowe, tinue to stand for that cause. People all ics and whether or not someone has death penalty less often, there’s fewer author of the recently released book, I over the world had their eyes on Troy’s the opportunity to hire decent defense death sentences being imposed, there’s Am Troy Davis, which Marlowe wrote case and if they didn’t understand the or has a public defender, who might be fewer executions, public opinion of the with Troy’s older sister Martina, with importance on ending the death penal- very good but nevertheless overworked death penalty is at an all-time low acand underfunded. cording to Gallup—every single indiTroy’s direct participation. ty then, their eyes are opened wide now. The nature of the crime is rarely what cator is moving towards repeal, which is not to underestimate the amount of work that we have ahead of us.
Showing at the Olympia Film Society Wrenched
April 18 - West Coast Premiere
April 21 - April 24
Abbey, who argued that environment destruction is “terrorism against life,” laid down the philosophical foundation and ground rules for eco-activism: “If I see something out there, I f*** with it.” While he believed it was a moral obligation to defend the land, Abbey drew the line at hurting another human. The film also explores the reluctance of environmentists to take individual action. Monkeywrenching, the film argues, is “the symbol of refusal to compromise—especially on wilderness,”
Farhadi loosens the valve on a drip-feed of revelations, each one changing any assumptions prompted by the last...Infusing his simple story with subtle complexities. The most poignant moments are of kids in doorways looking on in bafflement at the behaviour of their parents or the adults themselves gazing at one another, trying forlornly to work out why everything in their lives seems so unresolved and chaotic.
—Glen Warchol, Salt Lake Magazine
—Vanessa Martinez, Shadow and Act
—Elliott Noble, Sky Movies
It felt like love
Finding Vivian Maier
Rarely has the zone between girlhood and womanhood been captured with such urgent honesty. Eliza Hittman’s superb teen drama debut is an important landmark in the oft-ignored subgenre of realistic movies about female adolescence. —Inkoo Kang, Los Angeles Times
A self-styled outsider artist comes into focus in Finding Vivian Maier, a striking documentary undertaken after one of its directors bought a nondescript box of photo negatives at a garage sale.
In her pitch-perfect feature film debut, writer-director Eliza Hittman explores the terrible uncertainties of adolescence, and in the process reclaims the word “girls” for its rightful owners. —Chuck Wilson, Village Voice
Most revealing are the interviews with the now-grown kids who were in Maier’s care, who accompanied her as she made trips to often-dodgy areas of Chicago so she could take photos. —Bill Goodykoontz , Arizona Republic
April 27 - May 1
May 2 - May 8
—Adam Nayman , Globe and Mail
C a p i t o l Th e at e r o n F i f t h A v e n u e i n d o w n t o w n O ly m p i a
ACLU: Kimberly, what changes do you hope to see? KD: I hope to see the death penalty end all around the world and that we can come together to make sure there is not another innocent man executed. Not in my name. Additional question: What do you think of the moratorium on executions instituted by Gov. Jay Inslee here in Washington State? JM: I’m proud of our governor for making the right decision, and standing on the right side of history. Now we have to make sure that the state legislature also stands on the right side of history, and repeals the death penalty altogether. We will need to make sure that we let our state representatives know—loudly, clearly and unequivocally—that this is what we expect them to do. Interview adapted with permission from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Jen Marlowe’s website is w w w. donkeysaddle.org, she blogs at View from the donkey’s saddle, and you can follow her on Twitter at @donkeysaddleorg. Continue the discussion with Kimberly Davis and Jen Marlowe at one of the two Olympia I Am Troy Davis talks and book signings on Wednesday, April 9! See announcement on page 2 for locations and times.
Works In Progress
(Class struggle and the Venezuelan Revolution)
Toilet paper and its discontents
panies, mostly big companies such dispossessed)? as the oil and other energy related industries. Most of Venezuela’s industry The media, as the new battle field continues to be in the hands of private It would be mistaken to believe that The power of symbols capitalist entrepreneurs. The paper, the main battlefront of the conservaA society without toilet paper is a so- and more specifically the TP industry is tive and reactionary forces of Venezuciety in trouble, we all agree with that. in hands of private capitalists; so are the ela is through financing violence and Not having access to such a basic com- means of transportation such as trucks, agitation in modity of modern life suggests an un- etc.; and most of the centers of distri- the streets of comfortable place where scarcity reigns, bution such as large supermarkets, are Caracas. This tactic has futile long lines at supermarkets with owned by private companies. Yes, there was a scarcity of TP in Cara- been proved empty shelves, wide spread poverty, unhappiness on citizens’ faces, and that cas, but the shortage was artificially cre- ineffective. As third world “je ne sais quoi” not recom- ated with the political purpose of destamended by Condé Nast Travel standards. bilizing a legitimate government. SimiBut equally important, if we believe that lar tactics were used with other basic a society doesn’t have toilet paper, the staples creating shortages of soap, flour, actual relationship between our beliefs etc. The same political maneuvers were and material reality becomes irrelevant. used in the early 70’s in Chile to project Iconic symbols, as we know, have the the image of a socialist government inpower to construct immediate meaning capable of running the economy. It is in our brain. But as Nietzsche noted long not accidental that president Maduro ago, symbolic constructions (and access responded by denouncing the shortage to toilet paper is high in the chart of the as right wing scheme, and proceeded contemporary mind) generate relations to temporarily occupy the largest TP of things to one another, and to us, but manufacturer in the nation, the Paper noted by Ciccariello-Maher in the March not necessarily with the absolute truth. Manufacturing Company's plant in the 24 issue of The Nation, “ Even the feroIt is not accidental, as we’ll see below, state of Aragua. Along with these mea- ciously anti-Chavista blogger Francisco the broad news coverage in mainstream sures the Venezuelan government or- Toro of Caracas Chronicles has argued “middle class protests in media given to the shortage middle class areas on middle of toilet paper in Venezuela, and the supposed popular Nonetheless, the extreme-right and class themes by middle class people are not a challenge to discontent against the government. For those without conservative forces have been successful the Chavista power system.” voluntary amnesia about mo- in the orchestration of an international Equally ineffective have been the recent attacks of extreme ments of Latin American history, the current campaign— campaign of vilification and right groups against universities, libraries, and cultural 0first against Chavez and now against the new democratical- demonization of the Venezuelan leaders, centers trying to antagonize the student movement that ly elected Maduro--resembles first of Chavez and now of Maduro. favors Chavismo. in both tactics and content Nonetheless, the extremethe campaigns against Allende in Chile prior to the establishment of dered the purchase of 50 millions rolls right and conservative forces have been to be distributed at no cost to the popu- successful in the orchestration of an inthe dictatorship of Pinochet. lation. Maduro’s decision not only de- ternational campaign of vilification and The ubiquitous class struggle bunked the shortage argument but also demonization of the Venezuelan leadVery few things in life can be placed the speculative plans of the TP compa- ers, first of Chavez and now of Maduro. outside the correlations of power and nies. Yes, very few things, including TP Latin American and Miami based news class interests in a given society. This is shortages, can be understood if we de- and entertainment corporations such particularly true if we analyze the pro- tach them from a political/class struggle as ANDIARIOS, GDA, and PAL along cess of production, distribution, and analysis. with the conservative Spanish journal Class struggle is not good or bad per El Pais have launched a well-coordinatconsumption of commodities. Needless to say, TP is part of this economic cycle; se. The answer depends on which class ed, vicious and continuous crusade of tracking the “toilet paper blues” will help interests we are struggling for. Are we misinformation against the Venezuus unveil the real political content be- for the interests of the few (the multina- elan revolutionary project. Their tactics tional companies, the traditional land- include the mis-use and alteration of hind the current Venezuelan situation. It is worth noticing that the nation- lords, the industrial and financial bour- photographic and video material and alization effort initiated by Chavez has geoisie); or for the interests of most of unilateral and distorted news coverage only affected a limited number of com- the people (peasants, workers, and the about Venezuela. Not to be left behind,
the American media has been holding hands with the Venezuelan political right against Chavez since the beginnings of the Bolivarian revolution. Nothing new here, except that this amounts to a political aggression by conscious misrepresentation with the aim to destabilize Venezuela and prepare the ground for a violent military solution.
Arrogant hypocrisy the American way There is something repugnant in Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements condemning the Russian occupation/annexation of Crimea. At a personal level he seems to have forgotten his role as invader in the military occupation of Viet Nam, and at a national level he also has forgotten the U.S. recent invasion of Iraq. Both countries located thousand of miles away from the U.S. Equally offensive was his arrogant public declaration of March 12, 2014 when he practically threatened Venezuela and announced his support for the opposition and his willingness to make use of the “democratic clause” (i.e. military intervention) of the OAS (Organization of American States) against the democratically elected president of that country. Kerry’s proposal was put to shame by 29 Latin American and Caribbean governments declaring their solidarity with Venezuela. Only the U.S., Canada, and Panama were against the declaration. When it comes to international politics Canada seems unable to think or act without the script prepared by its powerful neighbor, and Panama’s President Martinelli seems to wish for Latin America the same misfortune of being invaded by the U.S, as was his country in 1989.
Compliance no more The American position against Venezuela is understandable, though unacceptable. U.S. power and influence in Latin America has become weaker due in large part to progressive-pro-socialist governments like Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. From a global perspective, these countries represent, with the exception of the Nordic countries, the only existing forms of government on the planet willing to challenge capitalism and globalization. In the particular case of Venezuela, the progressive experience initiated by Chavez has meant among other things the following: Intentional government policies designed to improve the well being of its people. Significant gains have been made in the areas of re-distribution of the national wealth, reduction of poverty, education, heath, and civil rights for minorities. Expansion of democracy with the creation of more than 40,000 “Communal Councils” which according to the same article in The Nation by Ciccariello-Maher incorporate “Afro and indigenous movements, women’s, gender-diverse and students groups” —in other words, groups without previous political agency or representation. Radical changes in the conceptualization of the role of the state, which is understood as an active instrument for the benefit of the majority of the population, and not as a tool to benefit a small group of wealthy people, which was the case prior Chavismo. Radical changes in the conceptualization of the role of the armed forces of Venezuela (Chavez was in the military), which now play an integral part in the transformation of the country and defense of democracy via participation in economic development and social projects. Active participation in creating a new type of solidarity among Latin American countries as a practice of resistance to U.S. economic and political control.
4TOILET PAPER, continued on page 9.
Works In Progress
(Lucha de Clases y la Revolución Venezolana)
sido los ataques recientes de grupos de extrema derecha contra universidades, bibliotecas, y centros culturales tratando de antagonizar al movimiento estudiantil que favorece al Chavismo. Sin embargo, la extrema derecha y las fuerzas conservadoras han tenido éxito orquestando una campaña internacional de vilipendios y demonización de relaciones de poder e intereses de clase los lideres Venezolanos, primero contra de una sociedad dada. Esto es particu- Chaves, y ahora contra Maduro. Diarios Enrique Quintero larmente cierto si analizamos el proceso y corporaciones de noticias y entretende producción, distribución y con sumo imiento con bases en Latino-América o El poder de los símbolos de mercancías. No es necesario decir Miami tales como ANDIARIOS, GDA, y Una sociedad sin papel higiénico es que el PH es parte de este ciclo económi- PAL, sumadas al conservador periódico una sociedad con problemas, todos co. Seguir la pista a la ruta de lamentos español El País han lanzado una muy estamos de acuerdo con eso. No tener del papel higiénico nos ayudara a escla- bien coordinada y continua cruzada de acceso a una comodes-información contra didad tan básica de la el proyecto revoluciovida moderna sugiere Sin embargo, la extrema derecha y las fuerzas nario Venezolano. Sin un lugar inconfortable querer quedarse atrás, donde reina la escases, conservadoras han tenido éxito orquestando la prensa y televisión vanas y largas filas en una campaña internacional de vilipendios norteamericana mansupermercados de estiene un largo romance tantes vacíos, amplia y demonización de los lideres Venezolanos, con la oposición a pobreza, infelicidad en Chávez desde los inicios los rostros ciudadanos, y primero contra Chaves, y ahora contra Maduro. de la Revolución Bolivarun “je ne sais quoi” terciana. Nada nuevo, desde er mundista no recomendado por los recer el verdadero contenido político de luego, excepto que esto significa un acto estándares para viajeros de Condé Nast lo sucede en Venezuela. de agresión política y de consiente falsiTravel. Pero igualmente importante, si ficación de hechos con el objetivo de decreemos que una sociedad carece de paVale la pena aclarar que los esfuerzos sestabilizar Venezuela y preparar el terpel higiénico, la relación existente entre de nacionalización iniciados por Chaves reno para una posible solución militar. nuestras creencias y la realidad material ha afectado solamente a un numero reArrogante hipocresía estilo se torna irrelevante. ducido de empresas, en su mayoría de la Símbolos icónicos, como sabemos, industria petrolera y otras relacionadas Americano tienen el poder de construir represen- con energía. La mayoría de las industriHay algo repugnante en las declarataciones inmediatas en nuestro cerebro. as venezolanas continúan en manos de ciones del Secretario de Estado John Pero como notara Nietzsche hace ya al- empresas capitalistas privadas. La indu- Kerry al condenar la ocupación/anexión gún tiempo, construcciones simbólicas stria del papel, y mas específicamente Rusa de Crimea. A nivel personal parece (acceso a papel higiénico ocupa un lugar el PH es propiedad de capitalistas priva- haberse olvidado de su papel como invaimportante en la lista de prioridades de dos, cosa igual sucede con los medios de sor en la ocupación militar de la mente contemporánea) generan re- transporte (camiones, etc.); así como los Viet Nam, y a nivel nacional laciones entre cosas entre si, y con no- centros de distribución como son los el tampoco parece recorsotros, pero no necesariamente con la grandes supermercados. dar la reciente invasión verdad absoluta. No es accidental, como Desde luego que existió escases de PH de los U.S.A a Iraq. Amveremos mas adelante, la amplia cober- en Caracas, pero esta escases fue creada bos países localizados a tura en los medios de comunicación co- artificialmente con el propósito político miles de millas de distanmerciales dominantes dada a la escases de desestabilizar a un gobierno legitimo. cia de los Estados Unidos. de papel higiénico en Venezuela, y al su- Tácticas similares son utilizadas con Igualmente ofensiva puesto descontento popular en contra otros productos básicos como jabón, fue su arrogante dedel gobierno. Para aquellos sin amnesia harina,etc. claración publica en sobre ciertos momentos de la historia Las mismas manobras políticas fuer- Marzo, 12, 2014 en la latino-americana, la actual campaña, on utilizadas en Chile de Allende en los cual prácticamente primero contra Chávez, y ahora contra años 70, para proyectar la imagen de un amenazo a Venezuela el democráticamente electo Maduro, gobierno socialista incapaz de dirigir la y anuncio su apoyo a tiene semejanzas peligrosas tanto en economía. No es accidental que el Presi- la oposición y sus detácticas como en contenido con las cam- dente Maduro respondiera denuncian- seos de hacer uso de pañas en contra de Allende en Chile que do la escases como una maniobra de la la “cláusula democrátiantecedieron el establecimiento de la derecha, y procediera a ocupar tempo- ca” (i.e. intervención dictadura de Pinochet. ralmente la mas grande Planta de Manu- militar) de la OEA (Orgafacturación de papel en el estado de Ara- nización de Estados AmeriLa ubicua presencia de la lucha de gua. Paralelamente a estas medidas el canos) contra el presidente democráticlases gobierno Venezolano ordenó la compra camente elegido de Venezuela. La Muy pocas cosas existen en la vida que de 50 millones de rollos a ser distribui- propuesta de Kerry recibió el rotundo pueden ser localizadas fuera de las cor- dos sin costo entre la población. La de- rechazo de 29 gobiernos latino-americacisión de Maduro no solo que destruyo el nos y caribeños quienes declararon su argumento de la escases, pero al mismo solidaridad con Venezuela. Solamente 4Toilet paper, cont. from page 9. tiempo los planes especulativos de las los U.S.A, Canadá y Panamá se opusierClass struggle, again compañías productoras y distribuidoras on a la declaración. Cuando se trata de Ironically, Maduro has confronted the de PH. Efectivamente, muy pocas cosas política internacional Canadá parece multiple acts of violence, provocation, pueden ser entendidas, incluso la escas- incapaz de pensar o actuar sin el guion and ideological warfare organized by es de PH, si las separamos de un análisis preparado por su poderoso vecino, y el Presidente Martinelli de Panamá parece internal and external reactionary forces político de lucha de clases. La lucha de clases no es mala ni buena desear para el resto de América Latina against the government with a policy of dialogue and within the parameters of por si mismo. La respuesta depende de la misma mala fortuna de ser invadidos the democratic institutions in place. A por cuales intereses de clases estamos por los U.S. como fue su país en 1989. survey conducted last week gives him a luchando. Estamos por los intereses de No mas servilismo 57% approval rate, which added to his un grupo reducido (las multinacionales, La posición de los USA contra Venezusignificant victory in the municipal elec- los terratenientes, la burguesía finantions (surpassing the previous margin by ciera industrial); o por los intereses de ela es comprensible, pero no justificaover a million votes) shows the real cor- la mayoría de la población (campesinos, da. El poder e influencia de los USA en trabajadores, y los desposeídos en gen- América Latina se ha debilitado debido relation of strength within the country. en gran parte a gobiernos progresistasThere is a poster circulating in Cara- eral)? pro-socialistas como en Venezuela, Eccas that shows thousands of housing Los medios de comunicación, nuevo uador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Brasil, y projects in neighborhoods located in campo de batalla Uruguay. Desde una perspectiva global, the foothills of the city. The poster creSería un error el creer que el principal estos países ates the image of the latent power of the multitude that has been the main campo de batalla de las fuerzas conser- representan, beneficiaries of Chavismo: the common vadoras y reaccionarias de Venezuela con excepción people of Venezuela. At the bottom of se da a través de la financiación de la de los países the poster there is a legend addressed to violencia y agitación en las calles de Ca- nórdicos, las the right wing opposition. It says: “If you racas. Esta táctica se ha demostrado in- únicas formas keep bothering us, we may have to come eficaz. Como nota Ciccariello-Maher en de gobierno The Nation del 24 de Marzo, “ Incluso en el planeta down.” el feroz bloger anti-Chavista Francisco d i s p u e s t o s Enrique Quintero, a political activist in Toro de la Crónica de Caracas declara - a desafiar al Latin America during the 70’s, taught ESL protestas de clase media, en barrios de capitalismo and Second Language Acquisition in the clase media sobre temas de clase media, y la globalAnchorage School District, and Spanish por gente de clase media no constituyen ización. at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He ningún desafío para el sistema de poder En el caso currently lives and writes in Olympia. Chavista”. Igualmente inefectivos han particular de
Papel Higiénico y Sus Descontentos
Page 9 Venezuela, la experiencia progresista iniciada por Chávez ha significado entre otras cosas lo siguiente: Políticas gubernamentales con la clara intensión de mejorar el estado de vida del pueblo. Logros significativos han sido implementados en áreas como la redistribución de la riqueza nacional, reducción de la pobreza, educación, salud, y derechos civiles para minorías. Expansión de la democracia con la creación de mas de 40,000 Consejos Comunales que de acuerdo al mismo articulo en The Nation por Ciccariello-Maher, han incorporado “movimientos indígenas y Afros, de mujeres, de genero diverso, y grupos estudiantiles”, en otra palabras grupos sin previa agencia o representación política. Cambios radicales en la contextualización del rol del estado, que es entendido como un instrumento activo para el beneficio de la mayoría de la población, y no como herramienta para beneficiar a un pequeño grupo de privilegiados como fue el caso antes del Chavismo. Cambios radicales en la conceptualización del rol de las fuerzas armadas de Venezuela (Chávez fue un militar), que ahora juega una parte integrante en la transformación del país y la defensa de la democracia a través de las participación en planes de desarrollo económico y social. Participación activa en la creación de un nuevo tipo de solidaridad entre los países latino-americanos , como practica de resistencia al control económico y político de los U.S.
Nuevamente, la lucha de clases Irónicamente, Maduro ha enfrentado los múltiples actos de violencia , la provocación, y la guerra ideológica organizada por fuerzas reaccionarias internas y externas en contra del gobierno, con una política de dialogo dentro de los parámetros de las organizaciones democráticas existentes. Una encuesta de opinión conducida la semana pasada le da un 57% de aprobación, lo que añadido a sus significante victoria en las elecciones municipales (que superaron el margen anterior por un millón de votos) muestra la verdadera correlación de fuerzas en el país. Hay un poster que circula actualmente en Caracas, en el se muestra miles de casas en proyectos populares de vivienda localizados en las colinas que rodean la ciudad. El poster crea la imagen del poder latente y potencial de la multitud quien ha sido el principal beneficiario del Chavismo: el pueblo de Venezuela. Al pie del poster se lee un mensaje dirigido a la oposición: “Si siguen jodiendo, vamos a tener que bajar!” Enrique Quintero fue un activista politico en America Latina durante los años 70. Luego trabajó como profesor de ESL y Adquisiciòn de Segunda Lengua en el Distrito Escolar de Anchorage y Profesor de Español en la Universidad de Alaska. Actualmente vive y escribe en Olympia.
Works In Progress
We talked more about good and bad issues and he left eager to get to work on fixing what he could. That evening, an announcement was made: “No one will say no to another soldier for their basic needs--latrine, food, bed, shower or water.” The sergeant who turned me away was dealt with. April Adams [Editorial note: Operation Uphold Democracy, lasting from September 1994 to March 1995, was a military mission authorized by the United Nations Security Council to return elected President JeanBertrand Aristide to power. Aristide had been overthrown by a military coup in 1991.]
The morale boost led to talk about creating make-shift showers in our “new” bay.
Another situation was the latrines. I found a sergeant from another company building a simple toilet. I asked if I could use it. He responsed, “I am making it for ‘our people’.” I nodded and Operation Uphold Democracy (part 2) turned to my buddy and said, “Well, it looks like you are standing guard while I take a sh*t by the It had been three days of not being able to shower. This usually would not have bothered most wall down there,“ pointing to the bottom of the of us, but because of high humidity and dust, it hill. Which, I unfortunately did. was causing some irritation. The realization that being on the same team Then the eve started to slowly come upon us and the rain began. A sergeant and I started to discuss how to use the water to clean ourselves. I noticed the water coming out of the corners of the bay across from us, and we decided to see this as an opportunity. Keeping our PT (physical training) tops and shorts on, we went with our shower gear and started cleaning up under the falling water spouts. This caused others to do the same at various locations at the corners of the buildings.
though does not, for some, mean we take care of each other caused sadness and anger within me. I set the feelings aside. Shaking it off, we moved on to go check on our parked equipment at the front gates of Port-auPrince. Later on that day, a colonel came by to speak with us troops. We had just come back from chow and were chilling out in our bay playing scrabble. He asked us how we were and I quipped up about the latrine incident. He looked solemn.
The experience was good in a place of bare necessities, which we take for granted in a rich country like the United States. By the end of the week, the make-shift showers were ready. Simple wood boards with 5 gallon drums up top of each stall and a shower head coming off of the drums. We each grabbed a water jug and filled it up with treated water (the ocean area was full of human and animal feces). That wasdisheartening, no hope where that resides, frightening, the cause of the sickness and no one educating the masses how to keep themselves healthy. We climbed to the top of the open wood planks, picked a stall, filled up a drum, climbed down and took a cold refreshing shower. What was interesting to note, there was not a covered wall. No one cared. We just wanted to be clean and were thankful for the opportunity to have water, clean water. April Adams, an Evergreen alumna, is a member of the Inter-Tribal Warrior Society, the secretary for Veterans For Peace Rachel Corrie Chapter 109 Olympia, journalist, photographer, artist, and political activist.
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4Lawsuit, cont. from page 1.
tion in what being on the receiving end of repression was like. For some of us, from relatively privileged backgrounds, this was the first taste of tear-gas, truncheons, and rubber bullets in our brief sheltered lives. During this transformational process, our bodies became bloodied and bruised testaments to the lengths the state would go to eradicate dissent to preserve a bankrupt system of endless war and maximized profit. When it was revealed that a military spy, John Towery, had infiltrated social movements and student groups from 2007-2009 there was massive fallout. Many chose to keep a low profile, some retreated from activist work entirely, while others were so traumatized they left Olympia altogether. Coming on the heels of protests that were as exhilarating as they were terrifying, this bombshell revelation was further compounded by the grim knowledge that the military was targeting our peaceful movement like it was an opposing enemy force, essentially converting the quiet downtown streets into a battlefield of brutality and repression. When further proof came to light that fusion centers were sharing the information that the Army had compiled on those engaged in first amendment activity at state, local, and federal levels, folks were justifiably concerned. Then when it was made clear that there was a pattern of fabricating violent charges against protesters in order to place certain individuals in a national domestic terrorist database, this wake up call lead to many a sleepless night. For better or worse, I was one of the folks who kept organizing regardless of these unconstitutional attacks on our rights to speak out, associate and protest. Those who soldiered on in the face of overwhelming odds reasoned that if we gave in to fear and silenced ourselves, the establishment had already won. Initially, there was hope that exposing the system’s designs with smart detective work and press coverage could postpone the continuing retaliatory action by the state. Instead, in 2010 roughly a year after John Towery was exposed and warned of other spies still in our midst, the authorities gave me the “special treatment” they had meted out to countless others in the preceding years. What began with my license plate being flagged and tagged by Washington State Patrol during a “routine traffic
Works In Progress stop” coming back from the Tacoma Port Protests in 2007, escalated to my movements being traced, my facebook watched, and my residence infiltrated. In the proceeding years as multiple officers continued to call me out by name and gave me a flood of tickets on bogus pretexts that nearly bankrupted me, I knew something was awry. Then on April 6, 2010, Thomas Rudd, John Towery’s boss at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, sent an e-mail to then Police Chief Tor Bjornstad at the Olympia Police Department warning him of the protest where I was framed for assault on an officer. As my attorney noted, “It has now become clear that Rudd kept right on gathering information on activists in Olympia,” even after Towery was unmasked. Furthermore, Rudd was giving information about Olympia activists to the Olympia Police Department for the them to act on, either alone or in conjunction with the Army. This contradicted Rudd’s testimony three weeks prior to the protest at the Third Internal Review of the Force Protection Intelligence Group he had headed where Towery had played an integral role. The frame-up by Olympia Police and an ensuing illegal eviction by my landlord under pressure from the city made me decide to hire a lawyer and turn the tables on a system that was purposefully destroying my chances of long-term survival. In 2009, a handful of brave souls, tired of being caught in the cross-hairs of men who wanted to suppress their rights because they disagreed with the content of their speech, had taken the only course of action left: they filed suit to take John Towery and his accomplices to court. The thousands of pages of documents received in discovery in the Panagacos v. Towery case reveal a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency counter-intelligence program that make COINTELPRO look like a game of hop-scotch. It was finding out that others had decided to fight back in the courts that encouraged me to file suit against OPD to stem the tide of repression aimed at me, which I hope in turn will inspire others to speak out and refuse to suffer silently. Nearly three years after filing mountains of paperwork and reliving the traumatic experiences from that night, I accepted the City of Olympia’s proposal to settle my case and now I can move on to bigger battles. Although the settlement was not ideal compensation for the suffering
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Sink hole. The toothed smile of privilege - gleaning and glaring glances through restaurant windows. Glasses of clear liquid at their table. Hot tub myths. Vacation gluttony. Over another sea. The beneficiaries carry mallets, axes, mauls tattooed at the back of the eye. Sink hole. I experienced, my intention was never to bankrupt the City of Olympia but merely to force the authorities to acknowledge the merits of my case, paving the way for expungement of the felony I was given under false pretenses. While winning a courtroom battle would have been satisfying, I am also thankful that I will no longer have to endure the ridiculous sight of Lindros perjuring himself on the stand about the supposed “assault” he experienced that night. It is unfortunate that I didn’t get my day in court this time, but from the start
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my case involved questions that could only be resolved as more evidence came to light through public records research and further legal action. The larger questions that loom about my arrest were never simply whether Officer Lindros lied about being struck, but who Officer Lindros lied for and why. With enough dedicated action and persistent pressure we may finally get an answer to those questions. When all is said and done, the settlement and the surrounding press has already helped put the upcoming Towery trial on June 2 on people’s radars and if nothing else, that historic trial will certainly make the authorities think twice before stripping other activists of their fundamental rights. Paul French, aka Strife, is an Olympia resident, a musician, and a member of the area’s vibrant activist community.
Works In Progress
4Goin nowhere, cont. from page 1.
Congress, an organization founded by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and told them to be bolder: “don’t forget that cultural shifts produce political change, not the other way around…The great progressive movements… have advanced not only by good organizing, but by a steady altering of the public’s perception.” The world’s largest general science society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), came out this month with a new strategy to make talking about climate change normal. It launched its “What We Know” public information campaign. The campaign stresses three messages: climate change is real; climate can change abruptly; and we need to act swiftly to reduce both the cost and the risk of inaction. The AAAS’s move is important. More of us need to be clear about how climate change is going to affect us, and what we need to do to slow it. It can’t be a problem for experts only anymore. The clearer we are about what climate change means, the more compelling our stories will be. The more of us who tell them, the more likely it is that we can compel the state legislature to act—next year. Emily Lardner teaches at Evergreen State College and co-directs The Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, a public service of the college.
Dow Constantine on climate change The following is an excerpt from King County Executive Dow Constantine’s 2014 State of the County address at the White Center Heights Elementary School. As it happens, April 22 is Earth Day. And our resolve on equity must be matched by our willingness to protect the environment, and to confront the changes in climate that already threaten our planet and our community. To the west, Puget Sound has risen 8 inches over the last century. To the east, the Cascade snowpack has shrunk 25 percent since the baby boomers were kids. In summer, low flows and warmer water in our streams imperil our treasured salmon. In winter, storms of growing severity threaten catastrophic flooding. We can no longer wait for international consensus or a dysfunctional Congress. It’s on us, and we’ve shown that this region can set the pace. King County government has surpassed the goal of using or producing renewable energy to meet half our energy needs. We replaced half of our diesel buses with cleaner hybrid-electric vehicles, and we plan to go all-hybrid by 2018. We protected more than 200,000 acres of working forest that will limit sprawl and capture carbon. We’ve shortened vehicle trips by ensuring that 95 percent of new growth is in already-compact urban areas. And we are fighting to save our Metro Transit system, which removes 175,000 cars from the road every day. In my second term, King County will expand on our climate change agenda with specific commitments to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions—countywide. Cities are an essential part of this puzzle. This Thursday, in partnership with our cities, I will convene the first of two meetings to chart a specific package of joint commitments that will meet state and local climate targets. Thank you, Mayor Larson of Snoqualmie, for joining us. Our local reputation for climatefriendly business practices is an asset that draws innovative companies. We are a region of adventurers and entrepreneurs. Building on the model of our successful Aerospace Alliance I will bring together clean-tech businesses, non-profits, and universities to elevate King County as a center for clean technology. I am pleased to announce that during my second term, our Department of Natural Resources and Parks will become King County’s first carbon-neutral agency. And I will bring together cities and concerned people from throughout the Northwest to stop the export of coal to Asia. Climate change is not an idle threat: even our supply of safe food and clean water—once viewed as an endless resource—is no longer a given. We need look no further than the severe drought now afflicting California. We must act now to protect ourselves and secure our local food supply. To address both equity and climate concerns, I am launching a Local Food Initiative to expand our supply of healthy foods, and expand access to them, while helping make farmlands profitable and protecting them from development. To lead this work, I am naming the County’s first food economy manager. Lilly Simmering has impressive credentials with the USDA and The Boeing Company. But what’s special is she is also the daughter of Hmong farmers who grew strawberries and owned a restaurant, so she knows what it means to think “farm-to-table.”
The NLG urges U.S. to respect Venezuelan sovereignty
Kerry to pledge that no U.S. funds will be used to support violent, anti-democratic agendas, such as the one in 2002. Feb. 19 -- The National Lawyers Guild International law demands this under (NLG) calls on Congress and the the UN Charter Principle of Sovereign Secretary of State John Kerry to oppose Equality, Art. 2(2); and the Organization U.S. intervention in the ongoing conflict of America’s (OAS) Charter Principle, Art. in Venezuela, as a violent campaign 3(b). Furthermore, OAS Art. 18 prohibits brought by Venezuela’s extreme right- indirect intervention in the internal wing opposition seeks to topple the affairs of another American state. recently elected government. Certain The NLG urges the U.S. government opposition leaders have called these to rightfully respect Venezuelan selfanti-government demonstrations “La determination and sovereignty. Salida” (the Ousting), revealing their —The National Lawyers Guild intention to violently and forcibly remove the democratically elected government. Court filings for marijuana posThis was the same agenda put forth by session drop dramatically the opposition prior to the municipal elections in December 2013, when ACLU -- Passed by Washington voters opposition rhetoric attempted to turn on November 6, 2012, Initiative 502 democratic elections into a referendum legalized marijuana possession for adults age 21 and over when it went to overthrow the government. into effect 30 days later. New data show For the last seven years, the NLG has observed Venezuelan elections – most the law is having a dramatic effect recently, that of President Maduro in on prosecutions for misdemeanor April 2013. NLG observers and other marijuana possession offenses in human rights groups (notably the Washington courts. The ACLU of Carter Center) found these elections Washington’s analysis of court data, to be free, fair, and exemplary of a provided by the Administrative Office democratic process. Despite this, the U.S. of the Courts, reveals that filings for initially refused to recognize Maduro low-level marijuana offenses have as the legitimately elected president precipitously decreased from 2009 to of Venezuela. It wasn’t until receiving 2013: •2009 – 7964 strong criticism from South American •2010 – 6743 governments that Secretary Kerry •2011 – 6879 backpedaled and quietly acknowledged •2012 – 5531 the legitimacy of the election results. •2013 – 120 Citing the failed coup of 2002, NLG “The data strongly suggest that I-502 President Azadeh Shahshahani said, “ Considering previous attempts by the has achieved one of its primary goals – to U.S. (and its allies) to violently overthrow free up limited police and prosecutorial a legitimately elected government raises resources. These resources can now be concern that this is the case once more. 4MARIJUANA, continued on page 11. The NLG opposes any U.S. interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs – including, but not limited to, such actions by the CIA, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute.” The NLG urges Congress and Secretary
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4Marijuana, cont. from page 1. April 2014 4Marijauna, cont. from page 10.
used for other important public safety concerns,” says Mark Cooke, Criminal Justice Policy Counsel for the ACLU of Washington. The data also show that the number of court filings for other drug offenses (including felony marijuana charges like growing, selling, and possession of large quantities) have stayed relatively constant. Court filings for both marijuana and other drug offenses by individuals under age 21 have dropped to a lesser degree in recent years, indicating that I-502 is likely not the main driver of those decreases. Although the overall number of lowlevel marijuana offenses for people age 21 and over has decreased significantly, it appears that racial bias still exists in the system. An African American adult is still about three times more likely to have a low-level marijuana offense filed against him or her than a white adult. Initiative 502 legalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. However, possession of more than an ounce, but no more than 40 grams, remains a misdemeanor. Exceeding the one-ounce threshold is a likely explanation for the presence of 120 misdemeanor filings against adults in 2013. The ACLU of Washington analysis is based on data provided by the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts via a public records request. The bar charts below illustrate the court filings data and racial disparity trends. To learn more about I-502 visit: www. aclu-wa.org/initiative-502.
Detailed account of proposed coup against Préval; Overturning of Haitian elections February 25 -- In 2010, a secret “core group” of foreign dignitaries sought to force the president of Haiti out of office in a coup. They also engineered an intervention in Haiti’s presidential elections that year that ensured that the governing party’s candidate would not proceed to a runoff. These are the revelations being made by the Organiza-
Works In Progress tion of American States’ (OAS) Special Representative to Haiti at the time, Ricardo Seitenfus. In an exclusive interview published by Dissent Magazine, Seitenfus – who was present at some of these meetings - describes these and other bombshells detailed in his new book being published in his native Brazil, titled International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti. Seitenfus provides new details regarding threats against then-president of Haiti René Préval. “[W]hen it comes to Haiti, the international community does not have limits for the actions it takes,” Seitenfus writes. The OAS “Expert” Mission, most of its members coming from the U.S., Canada and France, recommended changing the result of the first round of the election after findings that CEPR’s analysis determined to be “methodologically and statistically flawed, and arbitrary.” The international community – especially the U.S. government – then exerted strong pressure for the Haitian government to accept the mission’s recommendations, which would remove governing party candidate Jude Célestin from the runoff, to be replaced by Michel Martelly. Martelly went on to win the second round of an election versus another conservative opponent, Mirlande Manigat, with less than 17 percent of the vote from the eligible electorate. Seitenfus names names in a blowby-blow account of a secret discussion on whether Préval should be removed from office, which he says would have been “a moral disgrace and a gross political error.” In his account, Seitenfus says that then-head of the U.N. Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Edmond Mulet told Préval he would have to “leave the presidency and abandon Haiti.” Seitenfus also suggests that the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti at the time, Kenneth Merten, supported forcing Préval out of office. Ultimately, the ambassadors of Brazil and Argentina – and Seitenfus himself – opposed the plan, he says, and it was dropped. —CEPR.org
Earth Day to May Day!
The Global Climate Convergence schedule for this spring The Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit is an education and direct action campaign beginning this spring with “10 Days to Change Course” running from Earth Day to May Day. Together we can harness the transformative power we already possess as a thousand separate movements for justice, rising up against the global assault on our shared economy, ecology, peace and democracy. The accelerating climate disaster, which threatens to unravel civilization as soon as 2050, intensifies all of these struggles and creates new urgency for collaboration. The Convergence creates a unifying call for a solution as big as the crisis barreling down on us—an emergency Green Economic Transformation through a Global Green New Deal including universal jobs, health care, education, food and housing security, economic and political democracy, demilitarization, an end to deportations, and 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. Clearly the time for unified action is NOW. April 22, Tuesday, EARTH DAY 9-11 am 12-2 pm 1:30 pm 2-5 pm 5-6:30 pm 6:45-7:15 pm 7:30 pm 9 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (Media Island International, MII) Seed Bombs and Guerrilla Gardening (MII) Port Plaza Earth Day Rally! Bee at the Procession Studio! Oly Community Media Convergence (MII) Rally at City Hall for a Carfree City! Kickoff Earth Day to May Day! (MII) KOWA show (MII)
April 23, Wednesday 9-11 am
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
Evergreen Earth Fest 2014 4-6 pm 6:30-8pm
Banner Making (MII) OMJP Spokes Meeting on Global Climate Convergence, POWER Office
April 24, Thursday 9-11 am 4-6 pm 6-10 pm 5-8 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) Street Theater Rehearsal (MII) Grand Strategies (MII) Climate Solutions Event at their office
April 25, Friday, ARTSWALK 9-11 am 3-10 pm 5:30 pm 7 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) Bil Fleming art opening (MII) Critical Mass, converge at the West Side Park Revolutionary Street Theater and Spoken Word at the Rafah Mural
April 26, Saturday, ARTSWALK 10-Noon 11-4 pm 1 pm 4:30 pm 8 pm
Solar Power 101, S. Sound Solar, Tumwater Anti-oppression workshops (MII) Food Not Bombs (Library) Procession of the Species Potluck Celebration of the Species! (MII)
April 27, Sunday 11-2 pm 2-4 pm 4-6 pm
Global Climate Convergence Benefit Brunch/ Media Island Past, Present and Future (MII) Green Party presents “Climate Chaos and the Need for a 3rd Party” (MII) Earth Day to May Day Mural Painting (MII)
April 28, Monday 9-11 am 10 am 5:30 pm 5-7 pm 7 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) Energy healing (MII) Port Commissioner Meeting, Tumwater Womyns Tea Circle (MII) Traditions, 6th Extinction potluck, movie and discussion
April 2, Tuesday 9-11 am 3-5 pm 5-7 pm 7 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) Good Meetings Training (MII) Banner Making (MII) Reflections and Art on Occupy Olympia & OWS (Sylvester Park)
April 30, Wednesday 9-11 am Noon 4 pm 5-6 pm 7 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) Free Yoga (MII) Chalking Dissent, Bank of America Anarchist Art Market: Zines, Buttons, Patches and More (MII) Traditions, “Fighting for a Living Wage”
May 1, MAY DAY 9-11 am 12-3 pm 3 pm 7 pm 9 pm
Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII) May Day Festival Bus to Seattle (MII) Traditions, IWW Movie, potluck and discussion KOWA, IWW sing-along (MII)
For more information regarding the Global Climate Convergence, please contact Nora Knutson, Media Island Community Artist in residence, 352-8526.
Works In Progress
clear that Germany did not back his vision of a pro-Nazi Ukrainian puppet state--because Hitler viewed Slavs as subhuman, and coveted their fertile land for German settlers-- so the UPA had to later defend itself from the Germans. But somehow you don’t really count as a resistance movement if you wanted to join the Nazis, but the other Nazis wouldn’t let you play. In the meantime, the UPA was and [EU] integration.” Perhaps involved in massacres of Jews in they both want to join the EU so Zoltán Grossman parts of Nazi-occupied Poland they can later oppose it? now within western Ukraine. It Much like Al Assad and Al To progressives who have been also slaughtered at least 50,000 celebrating the revolution in Ukraine: Qaeda in Syria, Yanukovych Catholic Poles who stood in the Be careful what you wish for. Ukraine and Uk rainian ultrar ight way of Bandera’s vision of a purely now has the first European government nationalists fed off each other, Ukrainian state. Far-right groups in decades in which outright fascist and actually needed each other have recently backed the reburial parties have gained a significant role in to buttress their own legitimacy. (with honors) of members of the the executive branch. In other European Yanukovych’s brutality polarized Galician Division of the Waffen SS, countries, far-right parties have won the country, and reinforced the which also used the Wolfsangel seats in the parliament, but not secured farthest right-wing factions of the symbol later adopted by Svoboda. real power in the cabinet. Of course, nationalist opposition. Also like Last January, Svoboda led not all Ukrainian revolutionaries are in Syria, moderate democratic a huge Kiev rally marking fascists or Nazis, as asserted in recent groups were caught in the middle Bandera’s birthday, and his Russian propaganda. But it is equally of the polarization, and lost portrait and uniforms were wrong and irresponsible to assert that significant ground to the bettercommon sights in the Maidan the presence of fascists and Nazis in trained militants. So you’d think the new government is merely Russian that the toppling of Yanukovych Confederate, White Power, and Svoboda flags in Kiev City Hall protests. On one Nazi’s shield in Maidan could be seen the White would reduce the power of the occupation. (Screen shot from YouTube.) propaganda. Power symbol “14/88,” standing When the far-right Freedom Party fascists who had gained support became part of Austria’s cabinet in by fighting him. But even before control over police and military forces. for the “14 Words” by David Lane of the 2000, the European Union issued Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea gave Playing to a western audience, both U.S. terrorist group The Order (“We must sanctions against Vienna, and the New the ultranationalists new grist for the Pravy Sektor and Svoboda have tried secure the existence of our people and a York Times was full of exposes of party mill, their representatives were named to reassure the Israeli ambassador that future for white children”), and “88” for leader Jörg Haider. But when the far- to the new government in Kiev, led by they are not anti-Semitic, and defenders “HH” (“Heil Hitler”). Like other fascist right Latvian National Alliance joined the U.S.-backed Prime Minister Arseniy of the Ukrainian Revolution have groups in the region, the Ukrainian highlighted the very real anti-Semitism ultraright has also violently opposed a conservative government in 2011, it Yatsenyuk. LGBT rights, forcing the cancellation of in Russian nationalist groups. was barely noticed in the Western media. Svoboda Two years ago, Svoboda led violent the 2012 Kiev Gay Pride march. And because the fascist party Svoboda Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok is protests in Kiev against a new language In the Pravy Sektor video “The Great (Freedom) and the Nazi shock troops of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) played a well known for his comments that law in Parliament, which allowed Ukrainian Reconquista,” (https://www. bilingualism in regions youtube.com/watch?v=-Inu_-0dcSU) vanguard role in Ukraine’s with more than a 10 Yarosh highlights many common Nazi anti-Russian revolution, The historically well-off Venezuelans have percent non-Ukrainian themes, “against corrupt marginal their role in the new population. Its first democracy, against degeneration and revolutionary government has been glossed over in done well economically since the 1998 order of business in totalitarian liberalism, for traditional the Western media, with election of Hugo Chávez but have lost much the new revolutionary national morality and family values, for parliament was to roll large Ukrainian family, physically and no serious exposes so far. So it may b e of their political power and fear any direction back the bilingualism spiritually healthy young people, against law, which gave Putin the cult of illicit gain and debauch[ery].” controversial for fartowards a democratic socialist society. one of his justifications The video counterposes images of right parties to join to “defend” Cr imea, masked street fighters (with “Vikings” governments in the West, but it is permissible in the East if they Ukraine is victimized by a “Muscovite/ where Russian-speakers make up a shields), and beautiful heterosexual are mainly opposing Russia. These Jewish mafia,” and references to majority. A similar 2003 “democratic” couples, with Berkut riot police, same Western media commentators Jews as “Zhydam” (Kikes). One of his revolution in Georgia installed a strongly Russian civilians, EU bureaucrats, and take any hint of criticisms of Israel deputies established a “Joseph Goebbels nationalist government, which five multiracial dancers. Another Pravy as “anti-Semitic,” and then support a Political Research Center” in 2005. The years later moved militarily against Sektor video (https://www.youtube.com/ new government with parties that use Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw ethnic secessionist enclaves, provoking watch?v=uJmHIXVK95Y) shows different World War II-era imagery, such as the commented in 2011 that “Svoboda’s a successful Russian invasion. But few far-right factions marching, training, Wolfsangel logo of Svoboda, and the success illustrates the growing demand such aggressive signs were seen in and fighting. These videos aren’t Russian propaganda about alleged fascists—they White Power symbol of Odin’s Cross of Ukrainian society for a new right-wing Crimea before Putin moved in. Putin’s invasion of Crimea has are the fascists’ own propaganda. used by Pravy Sektor (ditto the Aryan party with anti-democratic, xenophobic, And by “fascist” I don’t loosely mean Nations). The phrase “Never Again” pro-social and pro-family views.” http:// relegitimized the ultraright in the eyes takes on a hollow ring when the entry w w w.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/ of many Ukrainian nationalists, and (not authoritarian conservatives, such as of real fascists into a government is commentary_56.pdf Svoboda won insignificantly) prevents about a million George W. Bush or the Koch Brothers. only 10 percent in the October 2012 Crimean Russians from voting against They may be right-wingers, but they minimized and excused. parliamentary election, and about 40 Ukrainian nationalist parties in the next uphold a global capitalist status quo Maidan Revolution percent in parts of the heavily Ukrainian election. A pro-Putin biker gang that has with the U.S. at its center. Real fascists Certainly the majority of protesters in far-west. Yet last December, Tyahnybok supported his Crimea invasion, and pro- are extreme right-wing populist Kiev’s Independence Square, or Maidan, was one of two opposition leaders visited Russian rioters in eastern Ukraine, play revolutionaries who want to overthrow were motivated to join by the massive and extolled by visiting Senator John as Russian “young tough” counterparts the present system, and replace it with a corruption and oligarchical rule of McCain. to the Ukrainian nationalists. Just as dictatorship guaranteeing absolute rule Since the revolution, Svoboda Svoboda uses Putin’s actions to frighten by their own ethnic, racial, or religious Viktor Yanukovych, and particularly his unleashing of the brutal Ukrainians, Putin needs group. Fascists often sound like leftists Berkut riot police. The Svoboda to frighten Russians, Maidan protesters included a nd t he pola r i z at ion in their opposition to corporate globalization and banks, NATO backers of European Union intensifies. milit ar ism, and env ironment al integration, leftists (who Pravy Sektor destr uction, but have opposite question both Russia and Pravy Sektor is even to motivations, usually revolving around the EU), ecologists, LGBT the right of Svoboda, but racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy ac t i v i s t s, a nd e t h n ic that has not stopped its theories. (Some elements of the Tea and religious minorities leader Dmytro Yarosh from Party--such as Glenn Beck and Rand (including Jews and ethnic being named as Paruby’s Paul--do seem to straddle conservative Russians). But Anti-Fascist Deputy Secretary of National and fascist ideolog ies.) Hav ing Action Ukraine estimated Security. Since the revolution, experienced World War II, Europeans that 30 percent of the Pravy Sektor militants have understand better that fascism is a protesters in Kiev were farbegun tearing down statues specific political movement, and not right ultranationalists, and of Soviet soldiers who just another way to say “meanie.” They that was before the shooting liberated the republic from are less likely to ignore a growing fascist began, when more of them the Nazis. That’s because threat when they see one. joined the street battles. they are themselves Nazis, Although the Maidan 14/88 on shield. (Photo from i.imgur.com) Good guys vs. bad guys? protests have been depicted as “Pro- parliamentarian Oleksandr Sych has with a view of the world influenced not U.S. media coverage of the Ukrainian EU,” Svoboda has joined forces with far- been named to the post of Vice Premier only by Ukrainian nationalism and right parties that are actually Anti-EU. It for Economic Affairs, and Svoboda German national-socialism, but by the Revolution tends to place it only in a West vs. East context, with the EU holds Observer status in the Alliance of has taken control of the ministries global white supremacist movement. Like Svoboda, Pravy Sektor looks and NATO inherently good and Russia European National Movements, which of education, agriculture, and the vehemently opposes the EU (including environment. Svoboda co-founder back with fondness to the Ukrainian inherently evil. In this simplistic Jobbik in Hungary and the British Andriy Parubiy was named Secretary Insurgent Army (UPA), led by Stepan framing, the Ukrainian far-right is an National Party). Pravy Sektor’s key of the Security and National Defense Bandera, who backed the 1941 German inconvenient reminder that evil can slogan has been “Against the Regime Committee, a significant post with invasion of Ukraine. It soon became 4ENEMIES, continued on page 15.
The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend
4Enemies, cont. from page 14 emerge from the West as well, so it has to be minimized as Russian hyperbole. Why is it that Americans of all political stripes--including progressives--can only see “good guys” and “bad guys” in a conflict, even in a situation that pits “bad guys” against “bad guys”? Maybe it’s our binary good vs. evil religious tradition, our “white hat” vs. “black hat” Hollywood films, or our two-party electoral system, which suppresses nuances and ignores other thirdparty alternatives. We want to view all protesters against oppressive regimes as “people power” heroes, without understand that today’s oppressed can (and do) become tomorrow’s oppressors. As Yugoslavia broke up, all Western media attention was on ethnic cleansing by the Serbs, but almost never on the ethnic cleansing by the (U.S.-allied) Croatians or Kosovar Albanians. In Afghanistan, the Taliban oppressed Afghan women, but the U.S.-backed mujahedin warlords who had earlier ousted the pro-Soviet government were the first Afghan government to restrict women’s rights. In Libya and Syria, revolutions against secular Russian-backed dictators have likewise strengthened Islamist militias. The West’s double standards eventually work against its own interests, by generating “blowback” from the very monsters it helped to create. The revolutions in Libya, Syria, and now Ukraine should show us that the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. In a contest between Ukrainian and Russian ultranationalists, we do not need to pick sides. We can defend peace and the democratic rights of civilians, and all minorities on both sides of the divide, without contributing to the polarization and strengthening the rise of fascism. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The next time you’re influenced by a facebook meme or a heart-wrenching youtube video about human rights violations by an “enemy” of the West, think about the atrocities by the proWestern side that we are not seeing. Study the history of country, to learn that parts of the so-called “democratic” opposition today might draw their lineage to militant groups (such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or Venezuelan right-wing parties) that have massacred ethnic, religious, or political minorities in past decades. If the U.S. continues to back these crazies just because of they attack the West’s enemies, some kind of blowback is again going to be inevitable. Dr. Zoltán Grossman is a politicalcultural geographer who teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, focusing on topics of interethnic conflict and cooperation. He has taught courses on Central and Eastern Europe, and is a son of Hungarian immigrants. His faculty website is http:// academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz and email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Procession Wing Workshop
Saturday, April 12, noon - 2 pm
The second two-hour workshop led by John Kersting on how to make wings with wire and batik to wear during the Procession. A demonstration will go through all the steps and the workshop will assist those who want to get started. Wire bending is challenging; the whole process takes about 2-3 hours total or longer depending on size and how nice you want the design on the batik. Plan to come back to finish as batik must dry. Staff will be available on Sundays in the stdio from 3-6 to lead you through the process. $5.00 suggested donation. Call 970-5550 for more information.
Works In Progress was failing in this constitutional duty and must achieve complete funding by 2018. Washington has established goals aimed at increasing student achievement, March 26 -- Persistent unemployment including funding full-day kindergarten, in the manufacturing sector is more reducing class size in the lower grades, likely driven by inadequate demand, and increasing hours and requirements not by a shortage of skilled workers, a in grades 7-12. The legislature allocated new Economic Policy Institute report $1 billion towards those reforms in the finds. In Why Claims of Skills Shortages 2013-15 two-year budget, but that was in Manufacturing Are Overblown, after four years of recession-driven cuts, Paul Osterman (professor, MIT Sloan when school funding was slashed along School of Management) and Andrew with everything else. The Supreme Court Weaver (PhD candidate, MIT Sloan deemed that down payment insufficient School of Management) examine progress toward ample funding. Fully whether high unemployment in the implementing K-12 improvements will U.S. manufacturing industry is due require at least $5 billion in additional to a shortage of skilled workers, as is funding for the 2017-18 budget –an commonly held to be the case. Using increase of one-third over the state’s an original, nationally representative current spending on public schools.[iv] Washington began ratcheting down survey of manufacturing establishments that directly and concretely measures the level of spending on public education skills needs as well as the level of well before the Great Recession. In the employee vacancies, they show the 1991-92 school year, Washington ranked reality is considerably more complex. 17 among states in per pupil allocation. In fact, while the skills required of the By 2010-11, that ranking had slipped manufacturing workforce have increased to 30th. Relative to the income of state over time, they are well within the reach residents, Washington ranked 24th in 1991-92 and 44th in the most recent tally. of most Americans. “The claim that a shortage of skilled Washington’s average student to teacher workers is exacerbating inequality and ratio is the fourth highest in the nation. In addition to beefing up the high unemployment is a stock talking point, but it’s not supported by the data,” K-12 system, providing educational said Osterman. “Similar to the broader opportunity to every child in Washington U.S. economy, the manufacturing requires strong early learning programs industry is experiencing a shortfall of and more investment in higher education. demand for workers; as such, available Many of our children enter kindergarten unprepared for school success. workers far outnumber job openings.” Restoring accessibility and affordaWhile skills requirements are real, the skills manufacturers seek are well bility to higher education also is imporwithin the reach of the vast majority tant. An increasing share of future jobs of Americans. For instance, while will require an associate or college 38.0 percent of manufacturing firms degree. Since the 1970’s when the state require math beyond simple addition, covered 90% of the cost of instruction for subtraction, and multiplication, the level higher education, Washington has been of extended math that is expected is at shifting the cost of college to students the level of a good high school or at most and their families. By 2008, the state only covered 65% of instructional cost. community college education. Fur ther, only a minor it y of Budget cuts and tuition hikes since then manufacturers report difficult y have reduced the state’s share to just recruiting the employees they need. Nearly 65 percent of establishments report they have no vacancies whatsoever, and 76.3 percent report they have no longterm vacancies (jobs that have remained unfilled for three months or more). Only 16.1 percent of survey respondents— typically plant managers—responded affirmatively when asked whether lack of access to skilled workers is a major obstacle to increasing financial success. —Economic Policy Institute
Inadequate demand is driving unemployment in manufacturing industry
UN panel calls into question U.S. corn ethanol mandate March 31 -- A new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the risks biofuels present to food security and the environment and questions the ability of U.S. biofuels policy to slow climate change, Environmental Working Group said in a statement today. Emily Cassidy, EWG biofuels research analyst, said: Risks to food security are only going to get worse, with water shortages and temperature changes. The UN panel’s findings should alert U.S. policymakers that mandating the production and use of corn ethanol threatens food security, intensifies competition for land and water and fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. —Environmental Working Group
3 Steps to Funding Washington’s Education System March 28 --Providing for the education of our children is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society. Washington is failing, however, in funding an educational system that will fully equip our children for opportunity and success. Washington’s state constitution declares it is “the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” In January 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the McCleary decision that the state
Page 15 35%. Washington ranks 47 among the states in the percentage of young adults enrolled in college and 33 in funding higher education. —Economic Opportunity Institute
2013 saw nine more extreme weather events with huge damage, fatalities In the Center for American Progress analysis of the most severe domestic extreme weather events in 2013, there were nine storms, floods, and wildfires that each caused at least $1 billion in damage. These nine severe events led to 114 fatalities, and caused $20 billion in damages. The severe extreme weather impacts for 2011 to 2013 is 34 events with at least $1 billion in damage, resulting in 1,221 fatalities and $208 billion in destruction. Scientific analyses repeatedly highlight the link between the release of carbon and other climate pollution, climate change, and extreme weather. In addition to slashing the emissions from power plants and other major sources responsible for climate change, it is imperative that the federal government assist with communities’ efforts to better withstand future storms, floods, drought, heat waves, and wildfires. President Barack Obama proposed a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund that would help communities avoid the lost lives and economic damage spurred by extreme weather. “The billions of dollars in damage from these climate-charged events are essentially an unfunded mandate on communities that must prepare for more frequent and ferocious weather,” said Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center. “It is essential that Congress fund the $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund to help our cities prepare for a future of destructive weather.” —Center for American Progress
Works In Progress
Rioting in the streets
against him and he should be released to face trial. The protests and the barricades are in the better off, wealthier parts of Caracas and in other cities such as Mérida and San Cristóbal that is in the State of Táchira. They are in all the major cities position less than Chávez did. He has All three of these social and econom- of Venezuela but almost all are in the majority support but not the same love ic problems cannot be blamed solely middle income and richer communiPeter Bohmer from the people that Chávez had. on the destabilization caused by the ties, not in the barrios. Excerpts from a talk March 5th, 2014 There are some serious problems in Venezuelan elites and by U.S. intervenat Forum on Venezuela and the Ukraine Venezuela. The problems that the U.S. tion and encouragement. Certainly U.S. role in unrest at the Evergreen State College. Olympia, mainstream media focuses on are real the United States has done this type The U.S. is definitely playing a role Washington. but overstated. They are: of destabilization in the past. For ex- in supporting the anti-government One year ago today on March 5th, Inflation—this is a real problem; it is ample, Chile in the early 1970s and Ni- protests. The National Endowment for 2013, Venezuelan President Hugo not new. Inflation was 56% last year caragua in the 1980s. A partial cause of Democracy (which does not promote Chavez died of cancer. It is wrong to atyet poverty has still continued to de- the problem of shortages and inflation democracy nor respect self-determinatribute all of the changes in Venezuela holding back tion for other societies) contributes at cline in spite of high inflation. Pover- stems from since 1998 to Chavez, whether pro or s u p p l i e s of consum- least five million a year to student and ty averaged about 25% since 1998 but con, but he played an important and er goods by suppli- other right-wing groups that called for was even higher in the 1990’s. Most, positive role in what has happened the overthrow of Chávez and now call but not everyone’s wages increase there. Hugo Chávez’s death was a mafor the overthrow of Maduro and the at the same rate as inflation. This jor loss for Venezuelans and all peoPSUV. The NED supported the means that the real wage is mainple around world who are concerned groups involved in the April, 2002 tained. This is certainly true of about economic justice and a world not military coup against Chávez. the minimum wage. Most dominated by global capitalism. I am It is possible that the rightpeople in the informal secsure many people in Venezuela will exwing in Venezuela decided to tor, still about 40% of the press their support for him today. Hugo organize militant street prolabor force although much Chávez presente! tests, including the use of less than the pre-1998 perMolotov cocktails against centage of the labor force, Changes to Venezuelan society government buildings and can raise prices of goods The popular classes in Venezuela, public centers such as health they sell as prices rise, 80% of the population, have gained clinics because of their weak thus maintaining their not just economically but also by their showing in the December real income. inclusion in society. There has been a 2013 municipal and goverFundamentally, inflation drop in poverty by over ½ and extreme nor’s elections. They realized in Venezuela is caused poverty by 70% since the 1998 electoral they were not going to win and by an economy organized victory of Chávez. The access to eduretake power through the elecaround oil; where oil genercation and healthcare has been huge. toral path. From my reading of ates significant income both This is also true in terms of access to Chilean history, the decision to for workers in oil and related food and food security. There has been overthrow Salvador Allende was sectors and also funds social a major increase in caloric intake, from made after the Allende’s party Uniprograms. This general spending 2000 to 3000 calories per capita per day, dad Popular (UP), increased support of oil revenues is inflationary bewhile both the quality and quantity of in the 1972 municipal elections from cause production in other sectors has food has increased. their 1970 showing. The Chilean rightnot grown sufficiently to match inwing and Chilean military decided eleccreased demand so prices rise. This ers and An Olympia, Washington resident r e t a i l e r s , tions were not going to return them to leads to a constant overvaluation of either waiting for the price to rise fur- power so they decided on a coup. Machwho recently spent two years in a lowthe Venezuelan currency which the ther or to further dissatisfaction with a ado, Lopez and the right-wing may have income barrio in Barquisimeto, Venegovernment has tried to control. zuela recently mentioned to me that he government they bitterly oppose. This reached a similar conclusion for Venesees more hunger in a nearby Washingis also likely true of some of the violent zuela. The government just decided ton state community, Shelton, where to make more dollars available at crime, including those crimes related The class divide he works, than he did in the Barquisia close-to-market determined ex- to drug dealing. meto barrio where he lived. The central issue in Venezuela is that change rate. This action may break Causes of the protests There are 40,000 communal councils there is a fundamental divide over the the speculation against the Bolívar in Venezuela. These communities demThe street protests in Venezuela be- nature of Venezuelan society. For the and substantially lower the black ocratically decide how to spend and market price. Someone recently back gan about a month ago, in early Febru- most part, as has been clear since 2002, manage a significant amount of public from Venezuela told me that if one ary, 2014. There are some legitimate the large majority of middle income revenues. The formerly excluded are uses the official rate of 6 Bolivars to 1, grievances of many of the protesters and wealthy Venezuelan do not accept now involved in controlling their comwhen buying local currency. Venezu- (see above). There are also the continu- a society where they no longer call the munity and public resources. There ing problems of nepo- shots, culturally and politically; where has also been major land tism, corruption, bureau- they no longer are at the center of Vendistribution in the councracy, and government ezuelan society. Racism is also conThe historically well-off Venezuelans have inefficiency. The univer- nected. Those who do not accept this tryside via the availability of affordable credit and sity students, who are move towards a more socially and ecoalso access to education done well economically since the 1998 protesting and are getting nomically society are disproportionateand health in rural areas election of Hugo Chávez but have lost much so much attention in US ly “white” in a country where the large as well as in the cities. social and mainstream majority of people are of indigenous, The Venezuelan econ- of their political power and fear any direction media, are not from the African or mixed European, African omy is still dependent universities where the and indigenous origin. The historically towards a democratic socialist society. on oil, but unlike earlier popular classes and their well-off have done well economically periods of Venezuelan children attend, but from since the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez history the oil money those that draw primarily but have lost much of their political ela is the most expensive country in is now being used to meet people’s the world. However, when using the from middle income and upper class power and fear any direction towards a needs; and to a limited extent to build black market foreign exchange rate Venezuelans and there are strong stu- democratic socialist society—although infrastructure and increase new proto change dollars for Bolivars, Ven- dent movements there opposing the Venezuela is still a capitalist society. Of duction—agriculture, clothing, comongoing social changes in Venezuela. course, many poor or near poor people ezuela is the cheapest country. munication, aluminum, transportaTheir grievances are primarily about oppose Chavismo, and there are people tion, oil, and farm equipment, etc. Ven- Shortages—there are some increas- the society although most of the pro- who were wealthy before 1998 or have es in shortages of goods, e.g. flour, testers also oppose opening their uni- become wealthy and powerful since ezuela has gone from being one of the cooking oil, toilet paper. People of- versities to the popular classes. most unequal countries in the world in 1998, who support the PSUV led governten have to wait in lines many hours the 1990s (in terms of wealth distribuStudents have been part of the anti- ment or are part of it. My point is that to purchase needed consumer items. government protests including the class and the class divide is the key; the tion) to the most equal country in the It is a real inconvenience but there is more violent ones. The leadership is issue of class is essential to understand Americas. Its Gini coefficient, which no hunger or generalized shortages the right-wing of Venezuela; even to the Venezuela today and the current antimeasures social inequality, is around of food as a whole. 40. This is the significantly better than right of Henrique Capriles, the gover- government protests and barricades. the United States coefficient of 57. (see Crime is a real and serious problem. nor of Miranda, who was the 2012 and Currently, there are few protests or CEPR.net) There is a high murder and robbery 2013 opposition candidate for Presi- even signs of mass protest against the rate. This is not new and it is not clear dent. They include Maria Corina Mach- Venezuelan government in the barrios, The next stage if it has risen significantly in the last ado and Leopoldo Lopez, both active in low-income and working class comNicolás Maduro was elected Presifew years. As I mentioned, Maduro is in the failed April 2002 coup against munities, and rural areas of Venezuela. dent of Venezuela in October, 2013 in taking crime seriously. A new national Chávez. Machado and Lopez and the Media a very close election. Previously, he was police force has been formed, hope- new party he leads, the Popular Will a labor organizer, foreign minister and The U.S. and Venezuelan mainfully to replace a violent, inefficient Party, have made it clear their intent is Vice President after the 2012 election. and often brutal and criminal force. to overthrow the government and move stream media have painted a picture of His politics, perspectives and vision for The new police universities are stress- Venezuela far to the right, to an author- Venezuela as a place of massive popular Venezuela seem similar to Chavez— ing respect for human rights and more itarian neoliberalism. A February 12, protest with government suppression “Socialism for the 21st Century”, the effective policing of violent crime. In 2014 protest that Lopez spoke at turned of the media and murderous repressynthesis of socialism and democracy those barrios where there are a lot of violent. He was arrested a few days later sion. with a strong anti-imperialist politics. The majority of the media in today’s cultural activities for youths, violent and has been held in prison since. His Maduro is taking crime seriously and crime, which is mainly committed by arrest and detention are understand- Venezuela are private. Many of the TV for the most part, demonizes the opyoung men, has decreased. able, although charges should be filed 4VENEZUELA, continued on page 17.
What’s going on in Venezuela?
Works In Progress
ry and Obama have been open about stations were actively involved in 2002 their support for the opposition to coup attempt. Today, the majority of Chávez and Maduro. The U.S. supportVenezuelans still watch TV stations ed the attempted 2002 military coup owned by private corporations. The ma- in Venezuela. Demand that the United jority of these stations and most of the States government not intervene in any main newspapers, although a little bit way; oppose U.S. government resolumore diverse politically than in 2002, tions that condemn the Venezuelan are anti-government and anti-Chavista. government! They have not been taken off the air or Learn more what is going on in Venprevented from printing, and the social ezuela and write letters to the editor; media has not been shut down. Social post alternatives views to the mainmedia like Facebook and Twitter have stream portrayal of Venezuela on Facebeen particularly active and inaccurate book, social media, etc. in portraying Venezuela as a repressive I suggest we, as people, activists, and police state with total suppression of concerned human beings critically the media. The mainstream U.S. media (e.g., support the Venezuelan government CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, against the attacks on it. Alternatives to NBC, etc.) have a very strong anti- capitalism and current global capitalChávez bias and a continued hostility ism are urgently needed; let us support to the building of 21st century social- and be in solidarity with radical social ism in Venezuela. For example, pic- movements but also more than that. tures that supposedly showed violent Venezuela is a positive example of a sopolice brutality and repression in Ven- ciety where the lives of the majority are ezuela were actually old photos from improving and of a government that is police repression in Bulgaria, Egypt supporting with its resources and poland Chile. The New York Times, while generally hostile to the Venezuelan revUnited Nations special rapporteur olution with very biased reporting, has urges nations to democratically been slightly more balanced recently, redesign food systems even admitting that in the poorer areas After a six-year term as Special of Caracas, there are no signs of protest, Rapporteur to the right to food, Olivier Repression De Schutter, recently published his final As far as I have been able to research, report to the UN Human Rights Council 18 deaths over the last month have been supporting the need that the world’s linked to the protests. Of these, four an- food systems need to be “radically and ti-government protesters were killed by democratically redesigned.” On a local government security forces. Of the oth- level, De Schutter advised regions to ers killed, some have been pro-Chavista build their agricultural systems around and a few have been accidents, not di- smallholder farmers and called on rectly tied to protests. There has been cities to also reconnect with local food some over use of force by police and producers. “Attempts by developing other government security forces. The countries to improve their food security government has arrested some police will only be successful if there are and National Guard for use of excessive parallel reforms in the global north. force and violence, thereby indicating Wealthy countries must restrain their that murderous repression is not gov- expanding claims on global farmland by reigning in the demand for animal ernment policy. feed and agrofuels and by reducing food President Nicolás Maduro called for waste,” stated the Special Rapporteur. Fur thermore, as in the press a national day long dialogue on Feb 27, 2014. Community organizations, gov- release, “In addition to his report, ernment officials, the main business the expert presented a summary of associations, Fedecamaras attended. recommendations issued over the So did the owners of Polar, the largest food corporation in Venezuela and some opposition groups. The meeting was televised. It was also boycotted by the main opposition coalition, the MUD, Mesa de la Union Democratica and its Presidential candidate in 2012 and 2013, Henrique Capriles. He has supported the protests but not the violent ones. Not much came from this dialog but it may have been a start towards an ongoing discussion of important issues even the divide is huge. I think it would be a mistake to move the economics and politics in Venezuela in a more conservative direction to appease the right. The opposition is divided between those like Leopoldo Lopez and his Popular Will party who want to overthrow Maduro via escalating protests, and those such as Capriles, the 2013 opposition candidate for President, who is calling for a 2016 recall referendum that, if passed, would force Maduro to step down as President.
4Venezuela, cont. from page 16
The future of Venezuela A national dialogue about some serious problems in Venezuela is needed. However, the solution is not to bring the rightwing into the government in order to rule as a unity government. Rather, what is needed is the opposite of what the right-wing leadership of the protests wants. What is needed is a deepening of the revolution– the growth of the social economy and the growth and deepening of participatory democracy.
What Should We Do Here? We should demand the end of U.S. funding of the opposition in Venezuela and an end to all forms of U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Imagine if China, Iran or Russia openly supported the overthrow of the U.S. government. Ker-
icy the building of power from below. Also very significant has been VenezuThese are the communal councils, the ela’s role in Latin America and internacommunes, community media, and tionally. By playing a major role in the (even though very slowly) self-managed formation of group such as The Bolivarworkplaces. The growth in access to ian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), health care and education is inspiring. and the Community of Latin American There is too much reliance on oil and and Caribbean States (CELAC), Venoil money but more than any country ezuela has challenged and is challengin the world the revenues from oil are ing United States and transnational being used to reduce and end poverty. capital’s domination of Latin America There is a growth of indigenous rights and the world. That and “the threat of written into the Constitution, and a good example” is Venezuela’s “crime growing economic and social rights, al- “to the rulers of the United States and though insufficient, for women and for the global capitalist class in Venezuela. LGBT people. There are small steps for- Don’t fall for the CNN perspective on ward towards food sovereignty and an what is going on in Venezuela. anti-GMO policy. All of this is imperfect but what other country is doing more? Peter Bohmer is a longtime antiraWe should practice critical support as cist, antiwar and solidarity activist. He opposed to condemnation, indiffer- teaches political economy at The Everence or uncritical support. green State College in Olympia, WashWe should learn about Venezuela ington and has spent several months in and be humble and modest in our criti- Venezuela including taking Evergreen cisms. Let us not idealize and roman- students with another faculty memticize Chávez and the Venezuelan gov- ber, Anne Fischel, to study there for two ernment but don’t let cynicism domi- months in 2009 and two months in 2012. nate our understanding and actions. course of his mandate as Special Rapporteur (2008-2014), covering food price volatility, trade and investment in agriculture, regulating agribusiness, agrofuels, food aid and development co oper at ion, nut r it ion, socia l protection, women’s rights, Human Rights Impact Assessments, national strateg ies, ag ricultural workers, contract farming, small-holder farmers, agroecology, and the reinvestment in agriculture.” —Agra Watch
World Bank accused of destroying traditional farming to support corporate land grabs OAKLAND, Calif. (March 31) The Oakland Institute and other NGOs, farmer and consumer organizations from around the world have launched a campaign, Our Land Our Business, to hold the World Bank accountable for its role in the rampant theft of land and resources from some of the world’s poorest people--farmers, pastoralists,
and indigenous communities, many of whom are essential food producers for the entire planet. “The World Bank is facilitating land grabs and sowing poverty by putting the interests of foreign investors before those of locals,” said Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. “Smallholder farmers and herders are currently feeding 80 percent of the developing world. Casting them aside in favor of industrial farming corporations from the West betrays the World Bank’s reckless and short term approach to development,” said Alnoor Ladha, Executive Director of /The Rules. The Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings, which score countries according to how Washington officials perceive the “ease of doing business” there, have caused many developingcountry leaders to deregulate their economies in hopes of attracting foreign investment. But what the World Bank considers beneficial for foreign business is very often the exact opposite for existing farmers and herders. In the agricultural sector, the rankings encourage governments to commoditize their land--and to sell or lease it to foreign investors, regardless of environmental or social impact. Smallholder farmers, pastoralists, and indigenous people are casualties of this approach, as governments and foreign corporations work hand-in-hand to dispossess them of their land--and gain World Bank approval in the process. The results have already been devastating. Thanks to reforms and policies guided by the Bank, Sierra Leone has taken 20 percent of its arable land from rural populations and leased it to foreign sugar cane and palm oil producers. And in Liberia, British, Malaysian, and Indonesian palm-oil giants have secured long-term leases for over 1.5 million acres of land formerly held by local communities. Now the land grab problem is about to get worse. Under pressure from the G8 and with funding from the Gates Foundation, the Bank is doubling down on its rankings fetish by introducing a new program called “Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture” (BBA). The BBA’s explicit goal is to promote “the emergence of a stronger commercial agriculture sector.” Its rankings will prize deregulation of the agriculture sector and is expected to enable further land grabbing around the world. “We’re standing up with farmers, herders, and indigenous peoples of the developing world who are being steamrolled by the World Bank’s pro-corporate agenda,” added Mittal. “Initiatives like the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ rankings encourage governments to steal from the poor in order to give to the rich. That must end.” —The Oakland Institute